Introducing a new hen to the flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by setter4, May 11, 2011.

  1. setter4

    setter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    Haven't been on here in a while...but I need some advice.

    My step-daughter bought me a young Silkie pullet for step Mothers Day.
    I have 6 other hens. 3 are 4 year old Bubbies and 3 are a year old. 2 sex links and a leghorn mix.
    I waited till the big girls all went in to roost the first night then put the silkie in the coop. She went up in the nest box so I allowed her to roost there. Next morning I got up at 5:30 to make sure everything was OK. The big girls came out and I had to bring the Silkie out. The 2 sex links went after her. I stood watch for about 1/2 hour but they kept chasing her. Finally left big girls out to free range.
    Next night and morning....same routine. next night...same routine.
    Again this morning the 2 sex links flog her. Yesterday one actually drew blood on her foot before I got here.
    I am very very tired of having to stand gaurd in the run every morning and having to block the big girls out ofthe run all day. I block the door of the coop open so they can get in there and the silkie has the fenced run.
    4 of the 6 hens are fine with her but I am afraid the 2 nasty ones are never going to get over it. The silkie is just to little to let them work it out....
    Any suggestions?


    Jackie
     
  2. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    We keep the new hens separated for the one- month quarantine.
    To introduce them to the flock: place the hens separately in a Dog carrier(wire crate) with the roo in established flock / group outside. After 1/2 hour let the new girl out of the crate. The roo should protect her from any serious attacking hen.[​IMG]
     
  3. setter4

    setter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    Thanks for trying but I don't do roo's. lol
     
  4. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    You could pull the two mean ones for a few days and then put them back in....pecking order all over and maybe they would lose their standing in the flock.
     
  5. fifelakelooper

    fifelakelooper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    fife lake, mi.
    Quote:What works is to have a cage or fenced in area that keeps the silkie in sight of the flock...but unable to attack her. It is a hassle...since you will have to have separate food and water for a while....at least a week...to see if they have become used to seeing her in with them. This has worked for me in the past...HOWEVER...the silkie is much smaller in size so I'm really not sure if they will ever accept her. I think it should still work...but no guarantees.
     
  6. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    Apr 11, 2011
    I've heard a few different ideas. You can try putting the new ones in a smaller cage within the coop, or you can try to divert their attention. To divert the attention, tie a cabbage with rope and hang it at head height, or you can empty a soda can and put some stones inside and hang it at head height. They will peck at it and it will distract them because it is shiny and makes noise. Someone also mentioned spraying cheap perfume on both the new ones and the old ones so they smell the same. Good Luck!
     
  7. setter4

    setter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I took a big dog crate out and put in their run. Put food, water a perch,some straw and the silkie in there. I did not let the big girls out to free range. Now I just have to remember to cover part of the crate later since she can't go find shade. Of course it sounds like today might not be a day where I have to worry about shade. Maybe I'll have to make sure the rain isn't blowing in on her.
    Thanks again for the help. I forgot how nice this forum is...I guess I better sticjk around for a while. [​IMG]

    Jackie
     

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