How long for my new hen to be included?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by biteme2134, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so here is the story:
    we raised 4 chicks ... they're now 12 weeks old. 2 look like roo and 2 hens. These are all babies from my neighbor who then sold her year old hens in which I got one since I was wanting at least three hens. She actually is the mother of 3 of the chicks. I had to open the nesting box for her and shes been doing fine with egg laying. We left her on a perch at night and shes been locked in with them for about 10 days now. I've seen a few squabbles from one of the roo but nothing major. she was pretty isolated from them for the first 3 days and that has eased up but its still obvious 4 birds and 1 bird segregation going on. I want them to be able to range but the neighbor is too close so I'm worried if she gets free she will head back to her old area.

    How long until they're all happy together?
    When would you let her range? (the neighbor and I each have about an acre yard so easy to walk right over)
    side note - were gonna ditch a roo Im sure as we dont need 2... how would you make that call like what means keeper or tosser when it comes to a roo?

    Thanks!
     
  2. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the hen is laying then she is not broody and she will not be kind to the chicks. They flip a switch when they stop being broody and do not recognize that the chicks are their babies. Your hen would be better to be let out and you continue to raise the peeps. They will grow up and may or may not flock together. They will establish pecking order and she may be on top or on bottom.

    Caroline
     
  3. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so far she is super distant from them...i haven't seen her be aggressive at all to them. shes the same size as the 12 week old roosters so we figured they could hold their own. which they did by being aggressive toward her at first but shes never been aggressive toward them
     
  4. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi There,

    So, to answer your questions, they'll likely become one happy flock when they all reach maturity. It takes time but it usually happens. Once they're all mature, they'll work out the pecking order and become one flock.

    I would leave your new hen locked in the coop for a full week, maybe a bit longer. This way, she'll imprint on the coop as her home and will return to it vs. her old home at your neighbors. Because your neighbor is so close, you might want to keep her locked in the coop for 1 1/2 weeks. Then, when you let her out, if she does not return to your coop at night and instead, is in your neighbor's coop, you need to try locking her in your coop for a bit longer. Try this and see if it works.

    In terms of picking a rooster, there are a bunch of really good threads on what traits to look for. Here are a few that I participated in as I had to pick a rooster out of 8 cockerals:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...normal-appropriate-juvenile-cockeral-behavior

    Hope this helps,
    Guppy
     
  5. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2013
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    My Coop
    Thanks for the info! I think I'll let them range maybe tomorrow night and see where she ends up. Thanks for the advice!
     

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