Introducing a new hen to my young flock??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gundawg, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    I found an 18 month old Buff Orphington hen that the lady says makes too much noise for her back yard flock and wants to find her a good home. My flock is 20 weeks old one hen is laying every other day and the rest should start laying soon they are all large heritage breed chickens 2 roosters and 16 hens 4 are Buff Orphington hens but they are not laying yet my RI Red is laying. Can I introduce this older hen to my flock I have plenty of room my run is 24' x 16' and the coop is 12' x 10'. I was planning to put her into a cage inside the run with the other chickens but separate until they have gotten to know each other how long would I leave her that way? Is it necessary to do this at all?

    My chicken setup in this picture. This is an older picture it is done now for some reason I can't find the finished picture but the point is you can see I have plenty of room.

    Actually I still have the temp pen in the left side of the picture still set up and it is just 2 feet from the new run I could keep her in there would that be close enough they would be able to see each other through the 2 fences. The temp pen is a 10' x 10' dog run with a roof on it and I could put a dog crate in it for night shelter.

    Thanks Mike

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I always want things to go fast and easy.

    I'd try putting her in with the group when you can be around to keep an eye on things. It will be hard on her at first, but they should settle out after an hour or so. Be sure there are some hiding places, and toss out some scratch or other distracting treat when you put her in.

    I move a good amount of birds around between breeding pens, grow out pens, broody pens, etc. The majority of the time, I can just put a new bird in and it's okay. I think one of the keys is having enough space. Folks trying to add a bird to an already cramped area, where she can't get away, seem to be the ones having more issues. I'm pretty tolerant of them acting like chickens, though....as long as there's no blood (or not too much), and the new bird has room to run away, it's okay. If the new bird gets trapped in a corner, buries her head and gets relentlessly pecked on, it's time to intervene. At that point, you'd go to the cage in the run, look but don't touch for a few days.
     
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  3. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    I put her in for a little while and she was getting picked on pretty good my big ornery rooster and a couple hens were the worst my barred rock rooster liked her and puffed out his feathers and danced for her he also kept getting between her and the other hens that were picking on her. When she first went in she tried to be alpha but after a couple minutes of continued pecking and kicking by the other hens she cowed down to them and tried to hide in the corners of the run. I could not stay in there to make sure things did not get out of hand so I isolated her back to the adjacent pen. I should have more time to try it again tomorrow afternoon.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If that doesn't work out after a few more tries..... you could put a couple(or more) of the more docile flock birds in with the new one in the smaller enclosure,let them form a 'group' then integrate the group into the main flock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
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  5. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks I was thinking of doing that but I put her in again and it went much better they are not high fiving but they don't seem to be at each other now.
     
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  6. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    I just checked on the flock they have all settled in for the night and the new hen is on the roost next to the my big ornery rooster.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Awesome!
    She's roosting with the alpha cockbird or the beta?
     
  8. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes this guy. He is still growing he is a little bigger now than he was in this picture. He rules the food and pretty much everything he is not human aggressive but he is the alpha of the flock although my barred rock hen sets him straight every now and then.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That's great....he's the boss...and didn't he attack her at first?
    Good that he's accepted her, it will pave her way.
     
  10. Gundawg

    Gundawg Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes he did.
     

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