Introducing a new feral chicken - photo's added

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by adele, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. adele

    adele Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    I have kind of inherited a very gorgeous little chicken that had been living on its own at a local old folks home. My mum works there, she said it turned up as a chick and no one was ever able to catch it.. I'm not sure what she is but my best guess is a silkie crossed with a black australorp bantam. She is little and very timid - she looks like an astralorp except she has black face, feathered legs and an elvis hairdo!

    Anyway, she ventured into the kitchen and the cook finally caught her on Sunday and she has been in my rabbit hutch since then. I didn't want to put her straight in with my girls as I think they would all have a go at her and she is very timid. However, today she escaped as I was putting food in the run for her and I haven't been able to catch her again. she spent a fair bit of time at my neighbors lawn but I sat at the back step and fed the rest of the flock treats and she seemed to realize that chickens should be in a flock not on their own so eventually she joined in, everyone had a peck at her but she held her own against the youngest ones at least. Now they have all wandered off and left her alone again. I am just hoping she will find her way back into the hutch at bedtime, otherwise i guess I might never integrate her.

    Has anyone got any good ideas about how to manage this? I was thinking that I might put one of my pekins in with her to hopefully become friends before moving them both back into the main coop, what do you think? and how long do you think it might take to settle her in? she obviously doesn't know what layers pellets are, or even the seeds i through out for scratch, she has been living on foraging and bits of bread from the old folks all this time.

    Also, I have no idea how old she is, she is making egg song sort of noises and has quite a loud voice - but I have never had black faced poultry before so she looks quite different.

    any ideas would be appreciated!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  2. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    Photos would be helpful. I would be worred about integrating her with your flock without quarantine; she could be carrying parasites or diseases. Hoping a more experienced member will come along [​IMG]
  3. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    I have no idea what you should do, adele, but I think what you are trying to do is GREAT. If it works, the feral chicken could end up having a good life.

    One thought is quarantine time is important before integrating into a new flock, but I'm not an knowledgeable about how long.

    For an interesting article on integrating new birds into a flock go to the Backyard Poultry magazine's most recent issue. You can access them online.

    Good luck.
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have a feral rooster that took up here when something got his last two hens. Quarantine was not an option here as he is wild and just started hanging around closer and closer each day. He has now jumped the picket fence and joins the girls during the day. As evening approaches he goes back across the yard to the tall pines just across the fence. I tricked him into the pen one day and shut the doors. He was fine until it started to get late...he nearly killed himself trying to get out. I finally let him go. I hate it. I know something is going to get him eventually. He doesn't eat the crumbles but loves treats with the girls. He is a very good rooster and takes good care of them when I allow them to be out! If they can't come out he just hangs around the front yard inside the picket fence and annoys the heck out of my serama rooster! I worried about not being able to quarantine him but he has lived for years with no care but his own in this neighborhood...short of killing him don't know what else I could do.
  5. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    usda recomends a 28-30 days of quarentine. I think a silkie cross of some sort is a good guess.
  6. adele

    adele Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    mental chook! She decided she wouldn't venture back to the hutch for the night, or follow the other chooks back to their house. Instead my daughter and I tried unsucessfully to herd her into the hutch, until we gave up as she is NINJA chicken, man she is sooo fast and flighty. She ended up in a tree - WAAAY up in a tree, far higher than I have ever seen a chicken get and much higher than I could reach. We heard a squawking during dinner but it was dark so just left her until I had got my own kids to bed.

    At about 8pm I went out with a torch to see if I could find her and she was in a corner of the yard where there was a wee bit of light coming from the neighbors kitchen window. Tried again to herd her into the hutch because she was not nearly so quick in the dark, i put the torch on the hutch so she could see where to go. No luck. eventually I got her into a corner and managed to grab her and pop her in. Poor wee thing, must be culture shock to be enclosed after being wild. At least she will be a bit warmer - we are having a polar blast at the moment!

    Now I just wonder if I should have just put her straight n with the others as now i'm going to have to get her used to two changes instead of just one.
  7. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I would suggest that you never put a new bird in with your flock. It's a good policy to keep the new bird quarantined for a month to insure that it is healthy.

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