In the Brooder
- Apr 17, 2013
I have three hens. Two were hand raised from chicks together (White leghorn x Australorp X Rhode Island Red but now a true breed known as Barter Hens) and the third was a rescue two years ago (Isa Brown). One of my Barter girls got sick just over a year ago so I had her in the house for three days. She recovered, but when I put her back in the run with the other two her 'sister' absolutely lost her mind and attacked her, drawing blood. I immediately removed the girl who had been sick and divided the run in half with chicken wire and put a small coop in there for her. The plan was to have them next to each other so they could all see each other for a few days in the hopes the 'bully' would remember that the hen was her sister and good friend! No luck. I've tried putting feed bowls next to each other on either side of the chicken wire so they feel like they're eating together, I thread spinach and other greens through the wire so they all eat that together in the hopes to foster a flock mentality, but every time I've opened the gate it's like this bully hen starts channeling her raptor origins. She's absolutely fine with the Isa girl even thought she's relatively new. Whenever I try the introductions I put down a heap of vegetables and scatter meal worms everywhere, and multiple water/feed bowls, and they have a really big space, double what 3 hens need. Is it time to just accept they're gong to have to be kept apart forever, or are there any other tricks people have had luck with? I feel sad for the girl on her own, especially now that it's winter here in Australia and she has no-one to snuggle with at night.