Hen lost both sisters...how do i introduce new friends to her? Please help.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Litleburgs, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Litleburgs

    Litleburgs Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2012
    Hello! I know there are a couple previous posts somewhat similar to what i am asking, however, i do not see one where there is only one bird with a couple new ones being introduced. I am hoping someone might know the best approach to this particular scenario..... ANY advice or tips will be greatly appreciated as i only started raising chickens in the early spring. THANK YOU!! Mollie and Loretta (white silkie bantam)
     
  2. barbsdawn

    barbsdawn New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2012
    I lost two of my three 2 month old chickenetts to a raccoon two weeks ago. Last week, we went to buy 2 laying hens in their stead, so they were much larger than the 3 month old pullet. My mistake was to try to introduce them too soon as the larger hens ganged up on the smaller one. Now, little Sabel is getting mean and pecking me. She was sweet-natured, but she has been traumatized by the raccoon incident and by the bullying hens. I am sure how to change that behavior, except to hold her more and give her lots of individual attention.
    So now, since I have been raising chickens for 7 weeks, I am an old sage. [​IMG] My advice, if you haven't already purchased other chickens, purchase ones around the same age, size, and breed as the chicks you are replacing to avoid the bullying. In fact, it might be better to get chickens that are a bit smaller than the one you have to avoid the problem. If you have two or three in your own flock, then you might want to introduce a single new chicken that is slightly larger than the chickens you have. I'm speaking from logic, not real experience here.

    Someone recommended keeping a new chicken in a coop and pen for two weeks before releasing them to free range. My pen is very small and the chickens I got were use to a very large and spacious pen. They would pace and squawk loudly all day long. The younger chicken was already free roaming. On the second day, I decided to release one new chicken at sunrise with the younger chicken so that they would get use to foraging together and get some time out of that tiny pen. Midday, I would swap the older hens so the other older hen could roam with the younger one. My reasoning that the one new chicken will not stray too far her "flock-mate(?)" in the pen proved true. At night, I still keep the younger chicken in a cage by herself. After 5 days, I released all three hens to free roam at dawn and roost together at night. So far, the strategy has worked very well, and they also are getting along better.
     
  3. Blondiechic

    Blondiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2012
    I just had the very same dilemma when my girls friends were taken. I decided even though I wanted three friends as that is how many were killed I got her one friend and then I will go back and get two of HER friends in a couple of weeks.
    I know you are supposed to keep them separated to avoid illness etc, but after a couple of days they seemed ok and I felt so mean keeping them on their own. I also get them from a small place, not a markets or anything like that.
    The new girl is a bit younger than my original and they aren't best friends or anything - in fact Walter (the surviver) is currently with my silkie in the back garden and Drama Queen Dora is still over in their fenced area...
    I figured doing it in two stages would be easier on all of them - and i also put them together for the first time at dusk so they woke up together - not that it really mattered as Drama Queen Dora hid from me anyway...sooooo melodramatic she is!
     

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