How do I introduce new chickens to my one remaining after the death of her friend.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ethelbettyjill, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. ethelbettyjill

    ethelbettyjill Just Hatched

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    How do I introduce new chickens to my one remaining Delaware? She is 3 years old a a possum killed our other chicken tonight which was an Americana. She has always been the dominant one of the original 3. Unfortunately our new dog killed the Rhode Island last fall.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. Will you be getting young chicks to integrate with your mature hen., or grown hens?
     
  4. ethelbettyjill

    ethelbettyjill Just Hatched

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    Thank you for answering. We built a 10 foot long A frame movable type coop from a set of plans. This coop was designed with the nesting and roost at the top (where our girls sleep and lay eggs) and a wire mesh enclosure of 5 x 10 feet at the bottom. There is a hinged ramp in the center that we lower each morning for the chickens to access the roost to lay their eggs. But.............we have a walled back yard bordered by shrubs and trees, with a lawn in the center, so the girls have always been free range during the day - not enclosed in the lower portion of the coop. They have access to multi water feeders, lawn for bugs and worms, border gardens for plants, dirt baths and a vegetable garden for munching on artichoke, kale and other vegetables that they can reach through the bamboo fencing. We have heard it is difficult to introduce new chickens - but we are thinking about getting new chicks -3 because we don't want Ethel to be alone and she is only 3. What is the best way to do this? We had not planned on getting older chickens as we had read about diseases, parasites and pecking order problems. Our girls have never had any of these as we bought them at 4 days old, and they have enjoyed a clean (we put our shredded paper from our office in their nesting boxes on a daily basis to recycle) and free range existence since they were fully feathered at 3 mos. We also are leaving to go on vacation in 1 month, so had not planned to get more chickens until we returned (this is when we still had 2), but I don't know if Ethel can survive that long alone. Help! What do you recommend? Thanks so much. We love our girls and their friendship and wonderful eggs.
     
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome! Pleased you joined our community! The link CTKen gave you is the method often used. Best of luck with your integration efforts and thanks for joining BYC! :woot
     
  6. ethelbettyjill

    ethelbettyjill Just Hatched

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    Apr 8, 2017
    Yes, that seems the best, but will Ethel be OK for six weeks without a chicken friend. We can't get the new chicks until we get back from vacation.

    Thank you so much for your advice.
     
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under ethelbettyjill [​IMG] Welcome!

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss [​IMG]

    Is someone going to look after Ethel while you are away? Sorry to be the bearer of not so good news but I think Ethel is going to be very lonely without some flock mates, even if someone is looking after her or visiting her every day.

    I used to only have 2 chickens and sadly lost one to illness .. the remaining hen was so very lonely and calling out for company and we had to dash out and buy her a new friend, waive quarantine etc. Because we purchased a single hen and put her in with a single hen, there was very little squabbling and they both seemed to think that having company was more important than squabbling.

    I now have 5 gals and make sure I never drop below 3 for that reason .. a lonely hen is a sad thing [​IMG]
     
  8. ethelbettyjill

    ethelbettyjill Just Hatched

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    Thank you for your response. Was the new hen of about the same age and breed or was it a chick? How did you introduce them? We totally cleaned the coop today and were with her in the yard most of the day. She laid an egg, stretched out in the grass and sunned herself, ate an apple treat and generally pecked and nibbled all day. At dusk she went to roost in her box in the coop and she is tucked away safely. She looked pretty comfortable, but I am waiting to see what her attitude is tomorrow. In any case, if you have answers to my questions, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much from Sherman Oaks, California.
     
  9. ethelbettyjill

    ethelbettyjill Just Hatched

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    Apr 8, 2017
    Oh, yes. We will have a pet sitter staying at the house as we also have 2 dogs, 2 birds, and 1 fish and sadly now - only 1 chicken.
     
  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey ethelbettyjill

    Yep, the hen was the same age but different breed, both bantams though.

    The new girl I introduced was in a cage by herself at the Feed Store because her siblings that they were also selling were picking on her.

    So, I bought her home, popped her in the coop and run for the day and left my existing chicken outside; there was some general snipping at each other through the wire but nothing to be concerned about and come roost time, I really think they were both so grateful for the company, they were fine and OK from that point on.

    However, I did that because, as I said, my gal was very lonely. I am not recommending introducing chickens without a quarantine period, just saying that I took that chance and it worked out.
     

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