Integrate a Lone Hen?

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,615
16,981
832
Nevada County, CA
I've integrated new chickens before, but this would be a single chicken. Our city's animal shelter has had this one hen for several weeks now. She was found wandering on someone's property. A friend-of-a-friend just contacted me about taking her because they know I've rescued hens before (in other words, I'm a sucker). The hen has been seen by a vet and wormed. She's been in a cage for over a month. She looks like a Sebright.

I'm like: you're killing me, here...

My current flock is 11 hens of varying sizes and breeds, the oldest being approx 6 years and the youngest 4 months. I also have 1 bantam rooster and 4 female ducks. I have room (80 sq ft coop with 700 sq ft of run/yard space).

Advice? Thoughts? Opinions?
 

FoodFreedomNow

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 11, 2016
3,912
4,863
472
Kudos for considering giving this stray hen a chance. If you're prepared for the possibility that it may not be a "quick and easy" integration - which it sounds like you are - why not go for it? :D

You know your flock better than anyone else - are there any you're particularly concerned may react negatively to a newcomer? Integrating single birds is always a little nervewracking because you just don't know how the process will play out, but it can be done...and sometimes with less drama than you may expect.

Can you do the "look but no touch" introduction prior to the actual integration?

Whatever you decide, I wish you and the little hen the best.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,615
16,981
832
Nevada County, CA
Kudos for considering giving this stray hen a chance. If you're prepared for the possibility that it may not be a "quick and easy" integration - which it sounds like you are - why not go for it? :D

You know your flock better than anyone else - are there any you're particularly concerned may react negatively to a newcomer? Integrating single birds is always a little nervewracking because you just don't know how the process will play out, but it can be done...and sometimes with less drama than you may expect.

Can you do the "look but no touch" introduction prior to the actual integration?

Whatever you decide, I wish you and the little hen the best.
My only real concern is that she's a single hen. Will she be a neurotic mess? I have a hen I brought in (stupidly) as a singleton for a broody. That girl is nuts.

I can absolutely do the look-but-don't-touch integration. My duck house is empty because my ducks seem to think they're chickens. I can rig a temporary fence, too, to give her access to the run.
 

aldarita

Songster
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Aug 2, 2012
670
250
231
Brenham TX
First let me congratulate you for wanting to bring this hen home. I am all for helping an animal to have a better life. Second, it is highly recommended that you quarantine this hen. It is very important to do it the best way you can in order to avoid having all kinds of problems with your existing flock. Even though this hen has been dewormed and seen by a vet, it does not mean that she does not carry some serious diseases that an inspection can miss.
You said you have integrated before so I guess you know the "rules" of integration. It is very hard to integrate a single hen. Azygous has written an excellent article about her experience integrating a single hen to her flock. Good luck!
 

arwoon

Crowing
Jun 19, 2017
2,124
6,592
421
You probably already know
What we did with two new girls, was put them in a large wire dog crate inside the larger chicken pen (holding around 18 hens and a roo) they stayed in the crate for a few days and then we let them out with the other chickens. They worked out the pecking order among themselves (w/ supervision) and it was fine. You could try a one at a time approach as well.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,615
16,981
832
Nevada County, CA
I rescued 2 hens from deplorable conditions. I quarantined for a month as I treated them for worms, lice, vent gleet, and sour crop. Good times.

I read the article @azygous wrote. She didn't quarantine. I will still keep them separated. I'll probably keep her in a crate in the garage at night and let her out in our yard (very separate from the rest of our property - we are spread out over 3 levels - it's weird).

Look at her. Just look....
download.jpeg
 

aldarita

Songster
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Aug 2, 2012
670
250
231
Brenham TX
I rescued 2 hens from deplorable conditions. I quarantined for a month as I treated them for worms, lice, vent gleet, and sour crop. Good times.

I read the article @azygous wrote. She didn't quarantine. I will still keep them separated. I'll probably keep her in a crate in the garage at night and let her out in our yard (very separate from the rest of our property - we are spread out over 3 levels - it's weird).

Look at her. Just look....
View attachment 2898366
she's a cutie, she really needs a new home:love
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
2,975
5,255
411
I rescued 2 hens from deplorable conditions. I quarantined for a month as I treated them for worms, lice, vent gleet, and sour crop. Good times.

I read the article @azygous wrote. She didn't quarantine. I will still keep them separated. I'll probably keep her in a crate in the garage at night and let her out in our yard (very separate from the rest of our property - we are spread out over 3 levels - it's weird).

Look at her. Just look....
View attachment 2898366
Oops, just read this post after I posted the article. 😊
What a sweet looking hen. 🥰
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom