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I have rescued a new chook - need help and advice.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ted Scout, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Ted Scout

    Ted Scout Just Hatched

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    Dec 2, 2016
    Hi,

    I introduced myself and my girls about 4 months ago.

    I rescued 3 battery hens and we now call our back yard our Chook Old Peoples Home.

    Anyway one died last week due to being egg bound (thank you for everyone who has written posts about Egg Binding - I learned so much from all your wisdom). We are so glad we gave Betty a good last 4 months of her life - she died in my arms and was treated humanly after death.

    Today my husband and I went back the same man we got the others from. He rescues hens from commercial egg farms and then brings them to the market for people like us to adopt for a small fee.

    So today we brought home an X commercial Free Ranger.

    I have a large yard fully enclosed back yard (we live in an old child care centre - if the children didn't escape the Chickens wont) that the chickens dig up every day (I am developing chook proof vegi patches) - they are allowed anywhere they want to go in the day time. I then have a large built in fenced off area of about 25Msq, where they get put if we want to use the back yard, and in that area I have a commercial chicken coop with an upstairs and a down stairs and a good firm door, where they sleep at night. (we don't lock them in we lock the foxes out).

    The upstairs where the 3 originals slept together is about 2M x 1/2M and is full of good straw and they made a nest that they share when they lay.

    My Alfa Lady - May is picking on the new girl - BettyII. I have now put Betty in the 25Msq pen and locked it so the other 2 are out. Betty is very happy here. 3 hours and she has given us an egg and is scratching and doing all the things that happy chickens do.

    However, Alfa Lady May is squarking at the door of the coop - I think she wants to lay but if I let her in she attacks Betty.

    Any suggestions of how I get a happy Old People Chook Home back again Please?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    The new hen is an intruder, and it's normal for the existing birds to want to drive the new bird out of their territory. It's always better to bring new birds in with a friend or two, otherwise one bird may always be alone.

    You will have to pen the new bird next to or put her in a separation pen within your coop for some time, until the current birds get use to her being around. Some take days others weeks or even months.
     
  3. Ted Scout

    Ted Scout Just Hatched

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    Dec 2, 2016
    Thank you for your reply.

    I know one on their own is difficult and I would have more if I could, but renting and our lease only allows us to have 3. So I have to try and get them to get along.

    8 hours on and they are all in the garden. I have had the new one in the large coop until now and I have just opened the door to see what she would do. She is in one part of the garden and the other 2 are off doing something chooky together in another part of the garden.

    We will wait to see what happens when the sun goes down.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Totally understand. Separate them if necessary, especially if blood is being drawn, otherwise let them work it out.

    Give them time. Glad you can give them a nice home.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I recently add 4 to 3 adult birds. There was a little scrapping and has been a couple of times in the next few days, but they do work it out. Let them is very good advice.
     
  6. authHeirlooms

    authHeirlooms Just Hatched

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    As said 2 or more integrate better, but your flock is also small, so they will work it out. It sounds like it's better already, but when we do have to isolate a bird, we try to re-integrate at night, on the roosts. Roosting is very important for pecking order, so even if you have to keep the new gal separated (but visible) during the day, letting them roost together has always helped for us. They will work out the pecking order, we added 2 young pullets to our flock a couple of weeks ago and they are quickly becoming part of the flock, even challenging some of our top-ranking hens. I assume you have blu-kote for any wounds they might inflict on one another?
    Good luck, and good on you for rescuing your sweet girl.
     
  7. Ted Scout

    Ted Scout Just Hatched

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    Dec 2, 2016
    Update on my Girls School.

    May is still chasing Betty, but Lucy breaks it up where she can. They have all slept together every night and I am getting 3 eggs every day.

    But poor Betty got up today with a sore leg and is limping so I isolated her as I thought that if May chases her she can't run.

    Now I find Lucy and Betty together in the garden bed where I feed them and May has gone to bed, and its still daylight here.


    It's like having girlfriends at high school again

    Cheers, Ted
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Chicken drama[​IMG]
     
  9. Ted Scout

    Ted Scout Just Hatched

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    Dec 2, 2016
    Oh yes! Chicken Drama for sure.

    Betty's leg is better and she can now run away from May again so they are all getting treated the same and seem to be getting on well.

    Cheers, from Ted
     

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