How to re-introduce a hen back into flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MamaChick08, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. MamaChick08

    MamaChick08 Just Hatched

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    Dec 30, 2016
    Indiana
    Hey there. So I'll try to make this short. We had an injured hen due to a rooster that was much too big for her. She was hurt pretty bad. We took her inside and fixed her up and she's been staying in the garage for about 2 months now. She's all healed up and I'm ready to put her back out with her sisters and 1 rooster. (We've DID rehome the giant rooster that did the damage). I've tried to re-introduce her to the flock a few different times with no luck. The rooster doesn't pay much attention to her but the hens are ruthless!
    They beat her up so bad one night, she was gushing blood from her face and waddle. I just feel so bad to make her stay out there with them after we just healed her up. Maybe I made the mistake in keeping her separate for too long? Or maybe I'm just a softy and I need to just tell her to suck it up!? I know they have a pecking order they need to establish, I just don't know when I should step in (if at all) when it gets out of hand. Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks :)
     
  2. CoopintheWoods

    CoopintheWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2016
    There are a few things you could try (you've probably already done some of them):

    1) Have her wear a hen saddle to help prevent the others from injuring her back. Also, put saddles on a few of the meanest hens so she isn't the only one.

    2) Depending on how large your coop is, you could put her in a small dog crate in the coop for a week or so, and once the others are used to her presence, release her into the rest of the coop.

    3) Allow them to meet on neutral turf. Enclose a small bit of your yard, and supervise as they meet one-on-one. If your chickens free-range, you could let the healed hen out on one side of the yard, and ONE of the others out of the coop.

    4) If the hen is generally quiet, you may be able to simply sneak her in as the others settle down to sleep. Supervise for at least an hour.

    I hope this advice helps, and good luck!
     
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  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    A single hen is a tough introduction. And even though they are sisters, it makes no difference to chickens, she is a stranger, and that is scary.

    The above advice is good, a couple of other ideas.

    Pull a single middle of the flock bird, and add her to the single bird in the garage. They will scuffle, but it will be one bird on one bird. Wait until they get along, then add the pair back to the flock. There will be pecking and chasing, but it will be spread out over two birds, and all that chasing is hard work, and they seem to settle down a little quicker.

    Also make sure there are some hide outs, but not traps in the run, a place where a bird can get out of sight of other birds. Many people just have a flat rectangular run. Which is wasting a great deal of space. Up higher, put a shelf, or a roost in the corner. Put a pallet up on saw horses, so that birds can get under it in the shade or on top of it to sit in the sun. Have a mini wall, just a piece of plywood 2 x 3 feet, stood up with a feed station behind it, so that a bird eating there is out of sight of birds eating at the main bowl.

    Good luck, this is the reason I don't ever separate birds, reintroductions are heartless.

    Mrs K
     
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