Integrating Old chickens, sick chicken, and new chickens - any ideas? Kind of complicated story.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SeaSea47, May 6, 2017.

  1. SeaSea47

    SeaSea47 In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2017
    Okay, I started out with six hens, but two months ago, a coyote got one. She was fairly high in the pecking order, and it kind of made everyone cranky. About two weeks later, my head hen, Marigold, had some internal bleeding after becoming egg bound. I had to separate her and ended up taking her to the vet. He had me bring her inside for a week or two because maggots were getting into her injuries, and now she's fine, just not laying anymore. But after nursing her back to health for all this time, I'm rather close to her now, so killing her is not an answer.

    After Marigold's recovery, I put her back out in a small cage right against my big coop. She can see the other four hens 24/7, and they can see her. I decided, after a few days, to let them all have free time together, but the first time I did that, my most people-friendly/aggressive hen attacked her, so I put her back in the little cage for another week, only letting her out by herself for a few hours each day. Then I'd catch her and put her up and let the others out for a few hours. They all typically spend about four-five hours free-ranging each day before these incidents.

    Eventually, I let them all out together when Marigold was stronger, and the one who attacked her before ignored her. My two black wyandottes, who are typically laid back, tried to fight her, but she fought back and I intervened, though one day I went outside, and one was on top of her. My lowliest hen would not bother her at all and even tried to hang out with her. But they all tried to attack her if she went inside the big coop. So, I'd try to monitor their free time, but she got to a point where she'd wonder off in the woods or garden and keep her distance from the other four. I think I was making some progress trying to integrate her, but then...

    Someone dumped two hens and two roosters on my road and they took up at my house. I didn't let mine out at all for a few days while I tried to find someone who'd take on these four strays. About a week later, the roosters disappeared, but the two hens are still here. My neighbor was going to take them, but a tree fell on her coop and then she had a family issue, and she said it'd be weeks before she could take them. They are currently sleeping in my garage.

    The two stray hens free range with my chickens. My main four will peck them, but they are not as mean to them as they are Marigold (my quarantined one). Marigold pecks them, too, but she'll let them hang out with her. As a matter of fact, she saw one of the wyandottes going after them the other day and let them get up under her like a mother hen would babies to keep them warm. When they are outside during the day, they lay up against her little mini coop, like they want to be part of her little world. She's desperately lonely, too, so I think she kind of likes it.

    I'm trying to find a home for the two other hens, but tonight it occurred to me that they might actually help me out with getting one big flock again. My chickens will not accept Marigold, but if I can get Marigold to accept the two strays, maybe I could put all seven together eventually? Any ideas? Could this work? Having three sets of hens is way more time-consuming than I can handle right now!

  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
    If you would just let things play out,and stop intervening,it probably would work out.Which means,let the chasing,bickering,and fighting go on.

    Are they letting her in the run,but not the coop?If so,just wait till pitch black and then once everyone else is in,take her and sit her on the roost at night.Do this with the other 3 hens as well,and it should work out.

    most generally problems like these are resolved,but,i will say,some hens can take forever to Re-Introduce,and some will never be accepted veer again.See how things play out these next couple of weeks and maybe everyone will be happy.

    Would you better to age the new strays,are you sure their not young chicks?

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