How should I reintroduce healed chicken back into flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mcdaid36, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    One of the hens survived a fox attack, and has been being nursed back to health back up in the house. It's only been about a week, and already her one wound has a nice scab over it, and she's been acting very caged up! So I brought her back down to the flock today (with some pine tar covering her scab so they wouldn't peck at it) but all the other chickens went straight to beating her up, the rooster especially. She was pinned down by a couple of hens and squawking like crazy, so I brought her back up to the house. She immediately relaxed in her pen in the house, went straight to eating and made a contented cooing sound.

    So is there anything I can do to introduce her to where she's not being beat up? I figured they would remember her since it was only a week ago, but they seem to be treating her like a new chicken. I guess I can move her pen down there and let them get used to her again through the wire, but I was hoping not to go through all that. Any suggestions? Any truth to the old wives tale that if you bring her (or any new chicken) into the hen house at night and place her on a roost with the others sleeping that they will accept her without problems the next morning? This poor thing has already been so traumatized by the whole fox ordeal, I feel badly leaving her somewhere that she has to be so afraid. And I'd feel even worse if she survived the fox only to be pecked to death....

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I haven't had the same experience as you. I put a couple of my aggressive hens into a converted rabbit hutch that I use also as a brooder. I call it their jail. I put them in jail for a week in the run so the other birds could see them and they could see the other birds. At first they would jump at the pullets even though they were in jail. They finally quit when they apparently realized they couldn't touch the pullets. When I did let them out to rejoin the flock one was still pretty aggressive but the other was not. Every time I saw the aggressive hen jump on a pullet and start pecking and pulling out feathers I squirted her with a hose. After a few times being squirted she finally calmed down some. There are some pictures on my BYC Page.

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