How do I reintroduce a chicken to the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CMV, May 5, 2009.

  1. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Hi All-
    I have a one y.o. Wyandotte hen, Princess, who was badly injured in a hawk attack about a month ago. She survived the attack and has been recovering in my basement for the past month. She's terribly lonely and very nearly completely healed, so I think she is at the point where she can be reintroduced to her flock. The flock is 5 other hens and they live in a chicken tractor with an enclosed run. The hens are a very tight-knit group and have never had any aggression issues in the past. I am curious if anyone has any recommendations on how to put Princess back in with the group. After the past month of intensive care that Princess has received I would be really upset if the other hens turned on her. She is barely healed from an attack that probably should have killed her, and I just don't want her to be re-injured. Suggestions anyone?
     
  2. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    So happy she survived the attack. And it sounds like you have taken very good care of her.

    If it were me, first, I would allow them to free range together under your supervision to see how it goes. I would let Princess sleep in the coop with the others inside a dog crate/cage so she is protected during the night. I would do this for a few days and slowly reintroduce her as there may be a new pecking order that will be established. I would keep her physically separated for a week at least, (maybe more) and I would not leave her alone without supervision until you are sure of her safety. If you could section off the tractor with chicken wire so they could see each other during this time, I think that might work well.

    Hope this helps. Others may have more advice. Let us know what happens.
    Anne
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks DDRanch! Unfortunately for Princess, she was always the low man on the pecking order prior to the attack. That's why I am a bit concerned about the reintroduction. She's a bit smaller than the rest of her buddies, and now she's half bald on top of that.
     
  4. realmofthewoodsranch

    realmofthewoodsranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2009
    Palintowne, Alaska
    I always introduce newbie, or reintroduce at night. It seems like they don't even recognize that there's a newbie if they all roost together. it's like they are best buds. Only thing is to make sure your hen has NO wounds left over. They will peck at things that are not quite right.
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Krystal-
    Would covering the few small wounds left with Blu-kote keep the other hens from picking at her? I feel so bad for her pining away in the basement, but if she needs to be separated from the rest until she's fully healed, then so be it. We have too much invested in her at this point to risk her safety, if we can avoid it.
     
  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Quote:I see you have asked Krystal, but I want to weigh in on this. I have had great succsss with a product called "Rooster Pick No More" which I think is similiar to Blu-kote. The Pick No More, is a think brown tar like ointment with, among other ingredients, tea tree oil and aloe vera, that when smeared on a bird's wounded bloodied or bare skin will repel other birds from picking because of its terrible taste. It also has healing properties for the wound.

    The recommendation I gave you earlier was from my experience with my "bottom of the pecking order' hen who I had to separate for about 3 weeks after relentless harassing and bullying left her bloodied. She was so nervous that she ended up picking her own feathers out of her chest which caused additional bloody wounds. The separation and treatment with Pick No more enabled me to get her healed up and reunited with the rest of the flock. I also re-homed 2 of the more aggressive hens which gave everyone more space when they had to be confined in their outdoor pen. I know this is not your situation but the solution may be useful.



    Anne
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Anne-
    Thanks. I am going to look for that ointment today. I think Princess will do a lot better at this point if she's back with her flock. She chirps so sadly when she sees us.[​IMG]
     
  8. ileggs

    ileggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2013
    Chicago IL
    I have a similar problem I went on vacation and one of my chickens has a very badly injured toe! She is the lowest chicken on the pecking order and I am not sure how to reintroduce her to the others. Her toe is not healed but I'm not sure if it ever will! (I will post a pic or 2) I really need advice!! I posted a thing on a different thread and no one has replied. Thank you!
     
  9. ileggs

    ileggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2013
    Chicago IL
    [​IMG]
     
  10. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Hi Ilegg
    I would not re-introduce a bloody hen to the flock. If this were my hen, i would soak and clean the foot in warm soapy water to see the condition. I would dip the entire toe in "Rooster pick no more" and keep her separate until the bleeding stops and she heals.

    Even a small amount of blood will encourage the others to harass, peck, and worsen the wound, which at some point will be life threatening.

    Hope this helps.
     

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