Introduce several hens to my only child hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by trudyg, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted the other day that Lucy died, so now I have only Lady. You can tell she's lonely. We were in the process of building another tractor so we could get a couple more hens, so how do I go about introducing Lady to 2 or 3 new ones? They'll be a group and she'll start off being the outsider. She's always been the more placid, even timid, of the first 2. My plan is to put the new ones in the new tractor and leave her in the old one. I have panels, kind of like a paddock, to let her out of the tractor but contain her for most of the day (large for 2 birds, 24' by 8". She is let out of the paddock around 2 in the afternoon and spends from then until dark totally free range. I will probably put the new tractor against that paddock and they can share the open space, letting the new ones out once Lady is let out of the paddock and into the yard. That way they can smell her but can't get to her. Any other suggestions? I may leave both tractors open so the new ones can get in her space, while she's out?
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Well, it works for me if I add younger birds into the pen with the one older bird. It kind of balances out that your older hen may establish her alphaness, meanwhile, the younger ones are faster and out number her. Not chicks, just juveniles. Put 2 waterers and feeder in there so there's no competition, and obstacles to hide around or one around.
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would either introduce all of the new birds to her at once, or one at a time. There will be fighting, but 99% of the time, hens (now if it were roosters, there would be a different story) will work out the pecking order quickly. Sometimes bullies appear, and there will always be one hen that is lowest in the pecking order, but I've never had any real problems introducing birds. Just observe them for the first week or so, but as long as no blood is drawn, let them fight and work things out.
     

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