Help please!! - stupid newbie mistake - now what?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by noortychooks, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. noortychooks

    noortychooks New Egg

    Dec 12, 2013

    I will try and keep it brief.

    I started with a lovely varied flock of 6 approximately 15 months ago, over that time we sadly lost 3 so had a settled flock of 3 since about November.

    On Saturday evening we suffered a fox attack and I found one dead (the family favourite, a big orpington) and the other two (little bantams) gone which was very sad. The next morning (Sunday) the smallest of the bantams (little jaffa cake) was waiting on the front doorstep!!

    Of course we were very pleased to see her, and she was uninjured, this is where the stupid newbie mistake comes in.......
    We worried about her being lonely, she seemed sad and calling for her friends, so made a snap decision to try and get her a/some companion/s. Living in the city it is not easy to find chickens at all so when we found a family that wanted to rehome their flock of 4 we jumped at the chance and set off on a 2 hour round trip to fetch them.

    Now the problem is the new ladies are an already established foursome, and also triple the size of little jaffa cake (not sure of their breeds, some kind of hybrid) and of course now little jaffa is the outsider (hindsight is a wonderful thing). Generally they just stay away from each other (they free range) but I have witnessed some bullying when they go into the house at night.

    Where do I go from here? should i just leave them to it and they will settle down and accept each other? would it help if i get another one or two bantams that are more similar in size to jaffa?

    Poor jaffa cake, she has been through so much in the last few days and i feel i have made it worse by bringing a group of scary strangers into her home :(

    Any advice greatly appreciated and sorry it still turned out as an essay!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Don’t worry about the length. Having enough information really helps.

    She is full grown. Just give them time. It takes a while for them to get used to the new surroundings and set up the pecking order. It probably won’t take that long before they are integrated into one flock. Chickens don’t handle change really well, either location or flock members. It often takes time for them to adjust.

    If you see any blood, separate them until the wound heals. And try to not leave them locked in the coop that long in the morning after they wake up. In the short term it may be a little stressful but in the long term she’ll be much happier with them there.
    1 person likes this.
  3. noortychooks

    noortychooks New Egg

    Dec 12, 2013
    Thank you very much for your reply ridgerunner,

    I'm glad to hear that it should settle down soon and that ultimately I made the right decision.

    Thank you again
  4. Eva Haley-Lock

    Eva Haley-Lock Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2014
    don't worry too much, your bantam will probably settle in fine with the other hens. it does help if you let them free range for a long time, don't keep them cooped up. you should definitely stop those foxes from taking your hens! make a sturdy run if you don't have one, and make your fences taller. you NEED to lock your hens up at night. put a light outside the coop to scare off any predators.
    your bantam should be fine if there is no predator problems, the worst thing is if your hens are stressing out, that leads them to pecking each other, and egg eating. but the most important thing is that YOU don't stress out. play with your hens a lot and you will be fine.

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