Since removing our feather-eating-almost-cannibal buff orpington and swapping her for a lovely sweet little 15 week old warren (Audrey) at the beginning of the week, we've been having terrible troubles with bullying. The existing hens (another buff orp, Henrietta - 19 weeks old; and a bluebelle, Bella - 23 weeks old (she just started laying this week)) have mercilessly picked on her, pulling out feathers, trying to rip her wings, chasing and generally being vile to her. In the end, we've sectioned off a small area at the end of the run with bamboo canes in order that she has her own space, but through which they can still see her and give her the odd peck (which they invariably do). We free range all the girls together most days and she sensibly runs away whenever she sees the other two approaching - and they don't actually bother chasing her as long as she stays out of their faces. We also have to wait until the ther girls are in bed at night and settled before sneaking her into the side of the coop, popping her on a perch and quickly plunging the house back into darkness. We tried letting them sort it out between them, but the bluebelle endlessly chases her out every time she tries to get into the coop to roost and we felt so terribly sorry for her every evening. It's a hell of a palaver, getting them shepherded and separated into the two run areas in the morning and then all to bed quietly in the evening, especially as we both work full time and I'm six months pregnant (and exhausted)! So, we've ordered a new coop and run, to give us some options. Here's the thing: how to we play this? Little Audrey will be lonely if we totally separate her into a coop and run on her own. We are considering getting her a friend (another warren of similar age and size - to make it fairer) and keeping them completely separate from the older girls, but within view. However, I would ideally like to adjoin the two runs eventually, which means we're likely to have to go through all this again when the two flocks merge. Are we best just keeping three for now, hoping that they will eventually accept Audrey, or would it be cruel of us to separate her (even if only for a couple of weeks) without getting her a coop mate? I worry that if we just keep the three birds and allow them a choice of two coops she'll always sleep in the new coop alone, and when winter comes, she'll get awfully cold. Poor thing Argghhh - we don't know what's going to be least painless for us, and the best solution for our lovely new little hen!