Introducing a new chicken


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
I recently had my barred plymouth rock hen pass away leaving my New Hampshire Red alone. The New Hampshire red hen is a hugely strong personality...the "rooster" if you will. I could tell she was bored and honestly with winter coming I thought she would be freezing in teh coop alone at night.
Yesterday I took on a younger Stnd Cochin, she's white and incredibly docile. The lady that owned her prior to me was unable to allow this chicken in with her other chickens because they would peck her ~uncontrollably.
Of course, this was a concern for me and she said we could trial it for a week and if there was no success than she would take her back.
My main concern is the Cochins submissivness. She does not stand when attacked, she lays down and covers her head when possible. She doesn't stand and fight back or even run away. She just lays there~
We have only had her one evening and this morning. I made the decision to keep her in the run and let my other one free range as we do everyday.
Something else that concerned me was my dogs attacked her when she was out. My dog NEVER attack my chickens and they actually love to hang out with them.
Does anyone know if this is normal...for the hen to lay down and just submit, rather than trying to get out of the way. I do not dare keep the two together...even in the open yard...for fear of finding a bloody mess when i return.
That poor hen, being the target of abuse by other birds and now by a dog. It is just heartbreaking to hear that she lays down and covers herself.
Your dog does not perceive her as part of the family (that takes alot of time), can sense her vulnerability and cannot be trusted anywhere near her, at least until she is strong and defiant. Did she sustain injuries? Anyway, you are trying to do right by her and that is very kind. I would keep her in her own safe space, let her gain strength and confidence and maybe the 2 birds, upon seeing each other a lot but not being able to get at one another, will come to enjoy chatting and hanging out near each other. It will take time......Meanwhile, lots of TLC to the battered hen. I would put a drop of Rescue Remedy in her water daily for at least the next several days.
Yes! This was my fear with the dogs. And I have three. Unfortunately I was not there to witness it but my 8 year old son was, he swiftly reprimanded the two dogs doing the beating and locked them back in the house. Had I been there the dogs would have understood QUICKLY that what they did was wrong.
The little hen was not injured although she lost ALOT of feathers and I cannot stand to watch her get picked on. My dominant hen watches from outside of the run clucking and chatting. She stays very near the run~which tells me she is very interested. The little hen went inside the coop after she realized she was no longer under attack.
Last night when they went to bed she wouldn't roost up top with my dominant hen.
I will give it time, but I feel so bad for her I can't stand to see a sad hen. I believe she is still fairly young her tail feathers are quite short but she is completely feathered out.
What is the Rescue Remedy? What does it do~
Rescue Remedy is one of the Bach flower remedies (you can google for lots of info) - it is known for its calming effect. Safe for humans, dogs, cats, chickens, etc., in that I have never seen anything to indicate otherwise. No known side effects.

Edited for spelling goof
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Well thank you so much for your help. After speaking with the original owner she agrees that maybe her little hen is best suited to be a "lonely" hen~ she thought maybe allowing her to live in a small flock her 'true personality' would shine through. she had kept her in the rabbit hutch with the rooster as it seems to be the only safe place for her. But after her episodes here at my house she feels that maybe that was her true personality all along. She is a quite sweet little hen who is enjoying her mostly solitary existence.
She said she had felt bad keeping her confined while the others free ranged~ but knowing that given plenty of space to run in the large run here (after the attack) and she still chose to remain in the dark hen house alone and awya from the outside world, she feels more comfortable keeping her in the hutch.
She's hoping she can find her a nice "one chicken" home. I think that is best for all of us, she truly is the sweetest hen I've ever seen....a little too sweet for a backyard flock. :eek:(

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