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Introducing a new chick to our flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by andrea chicken, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. andrea chicken

    andrea chicken Hatching

    Mar 15, 2016
    Hi everyone,
    In march my husband and i got 6 hens, 3 Isa Browns and 3 Barred Rock. A few weeks after we got them, we noticed one of the barred rock chicks just stopped growing. She lost all of her baby feathers, was eating/drinking and acting healthy. She is still fairly small and we dont think she is gonna get any bigger. When we moved the hens to the coop, we decided to keep her in the garage a little longer, too see if she'd get bigger and because it was still 50 degrees at night and we were afraid she wouldn't make it.

    So last week we decided to try to move her to the coop. We placed her in a dog crate inside the coop and the hens seemed unaffected by her. Tonight we opened up the crate and let her go into the run with the other hens. My three Isa Browns attacked her immediately, so much she began to bleed. We took her out right away and put her back in the garage.

    Now we are unsure what we should do. I feel that my hens will probably kill her if we put her back into the coop, but we can't have her living in our garage. We thought maybe if we got a couple bantam chicks and raised them with her, then introduced them all together, that would work?

    This is out first time raising chickens so any help/sugestions will be greatly appreciated!


  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You need to understand something about chickens. They have these rules, and two rules are foremost operative in chicken society.

    One is no foreigners. Any chickens the flock doesn't recognize will be soundly thrashed.

    The other one is no chickens that are different from what they're used to. Any chicken that is much smaller or colored or patterned differently will be soundly thrashed.

    You may be able to desensitize your flock to a newcomer by keeping that chicken in an enclosure within sight but safe for a period while the flock becomes acquainted and used to having the new chicken among them.

    Then, under supervision, allow the new chicken out among the flock for short periods, then back into protective custody again when the going gets rough. Eventually all parties will come to think of themselves as all one flock, but it takes a few weeks or longer to accomplish.

    I wrote an article for BYC on integrating a new chicken into my flock and the steps the chicken went through to become accepted. It's linked below this post.

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