how to guess which chicken introductions will fail/succeed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by patandchickens, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    This is a slimmed down version of the current state of my dilemma as per -- I really need further suggestions from those with lots of chicken-behavior experience.

    Summary: Now-lone sexlink Maryanne (age 1 3/4), her last sister gone, needs companion(s). All the possibilities are 18 wks old - there is a large pen with 9 sussex (7 girls, 2 boys), or there is another smaller pen of 3 chanteclers (2 girls, 1 henpecked bald-butt-ed boy) with one very bossy pecky campine pullet (the cause of the bald butt).

    Last night I, apparently stupidly, tried putting the campine into Maryanne's tractor. Campine pecked/bit Maryanne very hard, Maryanne became enraged and tried very seriously to kill campine and only failed b/c Maryanne was debeaked before I got her and I broke up the fight. (Campine was totally submissive and 'smart' after Maryanne opened her can o' whup-as s, it just didn't make any difference).

    So, THAT sure did not work [​IMG] Campine is now back in chantecler pen, and has resumed her cockerel-butt-pecking ways. (Nobody else on the property has the slightest pecking issues - this chicken just needs to switch to decaf or something)

    How do I guess which is the best bet for a plan B? Main options seem to be:

    -Maryanne with sussexes


    -campine with sussexes and then if that works out Maryanne with chanteclers (this has the advantage of solving my bald-cockerel-butt problem also, but seems chancier since it requires *two* successful introductions)

    In either case I will cage the moving chicken next to, then inside, the pen in a dog crate for some days first. But I don't know which way to go, and I would REALLY rather not screw up again.

    So whatcha think?


  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Hi, I'm no expert at introducing chickens, but the ones that I have introduced to each other has gone quite well.

    However, you are at a disadvatage, b/c you are introducing only one bird to others.

    I know you don't let your chickies free range, but what if you did for a short time, supervised, during the day?

    The only experience I have introducing a lone bird is when I introduced my RIR cockerel to my existing flock. He mostly hung out by himself, but there was one hen who took an immediate liking to him, where the other ones were kinda mean. She stuck by his side until he was brave enough, and accepted enough -to mingle out with the rest.

    Perhaps if you tried this, you could find out if any of them might do the choosing for you. If they are out of a confined area, they, (she) could escape if needed, and just kinda get used to each other in this 'open' area.

    You could find out who she gets along with, and take it from there.

    Just a suggestion, I realize free-ranging is not for everyone. Also, the first time birds are let out to freerange, from being confined, they are somewhat cautious to begin with, so that might wrork to your advantage.

    Just a suggestion, but other than that, I can't offer anything.

    Good luck! It's sad that she's all alone.

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