HELP - Rescued Bantam, Flock Introduction

racheybok24

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2020
4
15
26
Hi Backyard Chicken Raisers -

So I have a small flock of 4 hens - two australorps, one rhode island, and one barred rock here in Central PA! A friend of ours had two small hens show up in their yard last spring and none of their neighbors claimed them. They had been putting some food out for them, but generally they would leave during the day and come back and roost in a tree in their backyard in the nights. Well two weeks ago, the second hen stopped coming around. And then last week we had a 20" blizzard! The poor lone hen was hiding under their car - they called us and asked if we would take her in if they could catch her. We happily obliged!

Well, when they brought her over, I tell you I have never seen a hen so small (I had no idea bantam hens were a thing at this point). After a quick search on how to introduce new hens to a flock, we made her her own area so that our flock of 4 and her could meet, but not get at each other. They seemed curious but didn't really seem to mind. It's now been a week of keeping them separated and we tried letting them out and the Rhode Island and Barred Rock (both are kind of the head honchos) started going right at her! We quickly put her back in her own designated area.

I guess I am concerned that they won't ever accept her. She is so small I don't see a way to keep her safe! Has anyone successfully introduced one singular bantam chicken to a flock? Also, does anyone know what kind of chicken this is or how to figure out her age? This photo makes her look huge, she truly is the cutest smallest thing I've ever seen!
IMG_4656.JPG
 

FluffyBottomBantams

Run by roosters
Apr 13, 2020
1,173
4,221
315
A backwoods coop in NH
Good for you for taking her in. I agree she looks like a game bird. She should not be put anywhere near your birds for at least two weeks, during this quarantine period she should be checked over for mites, be observed for any sicknesses she could be carrying and maybe even dewormed if you have the ability. She is magnificent by the way. Look at that tail :love
 

MissMonty

Songster
5 Years
Sep 12, 2015
497
986
186
Dayton, OH
They will peck at each other some no matter how long they were in there separated. They're establishing a pecking order, for me some is okay just monitor to ensure it doesn't get too crazy.

I do agree a completely separate quarantine is a good idea since you have no history on this bird but it sounds like she was already in your coop so its probably too late for that. I'd just monitor her and your other birds for illness and mites
 

FluffyBottomBantams

Run by roosters
Apr 13, 2020
1,173
4,221
315
A backwoods coop in NH
They will peck at each other some no matter how long they were in there separated. They're establishing a pecking order, for me some is okay just monitor to ensure it doesn't get too crazy.

I do agree a completely separate quarantine is a good idea since you have no history on this bird but it sounds like she was already in your coop so its probably too late for that. I'd just monitor her and your other birds for illness and mites
Agreed. Sounds like a moot point..Maybe peek at the new bird for mites anyway. They hang out at and around the vent, under the wings and on their face if it’s a bad infestation
 

racheybok24

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2020
4
15
26
We did do a once over and didn't notice any sign of mites - she seems like a very healthy hen! Any advice on what to look at for signs of worms? Her droppings look normal to me, just much smaller than the standards, lol!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,451
13,077
656
western South Dakota
There are a couple of ways to do this. Because there is such a size difference, set it up so that the smaller bird can retreat where no one can get her, a safety zone where the bigger birds can't follow.

If you can, let your big girls out into the yard, and let the new bird into the main set up. If you can, feed along the fence. This lets the new bird explore the area without being chased for her life. She can explore and find safe spots, let the older girls in close too dark.

Hideouts, platforms, roosts in the run are very helpful. First them make more use of the vertical space in the run, and more importantly they let birds get out of sight, and out of mind. Look at your run, can a bird see every other bird 100% of the time? If so you need to add pallets, ladders, boxes, small pieces of plywood. It will make it look cluttered to you, but much more interesting to the birds.

Flip it around, put the two meanies in the place where you have the bantam for a while, letting the batam out into the main set up. Now there is apt to be a dust up even with nicer ones, but it should settle pretty quickly. After a week or so, add ONE of the meanies, then later add the other one.

Mrs K
 
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racheybok24

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2020
4
15
26
r could meet, but not get at each other. They seemed curious but didn't really seem to mind. It's now been a week of k
There are a couple of ways to do this. Because there is such a size difference, set it up so that the smaller bird can retreat where no one can get her, a safety zone where the bigger birds can't follow.

If you can, let your big girls out into the yard, and let the new bird into the main set up. If you can, feed along the fence. This lets the new bird explore the area without being chased for her life. She can explore and find safe spots, let the older girls in close too dark.

Hideouts, platforms, roosts in the run are very helpful. First them make more use of the vertical space in the run, and more importantly they let birds get out of sight, and out of mind. Look at your run, can a bird see every other bird 100% of the time? If so you need to add pallets, ladders, boxes, small pieces of plywood. It will make it look cluttered to you, but much more interesting to the birds.

Flip it around, put the two meanies in the place where you have the bantam for a while, letting the batam out into the main set up. Now there is apt to be a dust up even with nicer ones, but it should settle pretty quickly. After a week or so, add ONE of the meanies, then later add the other one.

Mrs K
This was extremely helpful advice!! Thank you so much!
 

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