Long time reader (and learner), first time post. We rescued a young (near 1 yo) Australorp hen and are trying to integrate her into our flock. She was quarantined and we did the "see but not touch" method of introducing her. The girls (we have 4 others who are all around 3 yo) all showed interest in her, they'd forage around her fenced area, there were occasional squabbles near the fence, but nothing huge. She would go back in her separate house at night at that point. Eventually we built a couple of new roosts in the run and coop in preparation for her full integration. We started letting her free-range with the flock. She bonded quickly with out other Australorp, and now follows her around. Our #2 hen gave her a good peck on the head and has since been someone with whom the new hen can benignly hang. The new girl is firmly at the bottom of the pecking order, she is very, very sweet to people and is extremely submissive to everyone in the flock. When our #1 hen comes close, she will squat completely flat. The #1 hen will mount her and peck at her, but not super hard. The new girl is missing head feathers, but we expected that from the integration. We've been keeping an eye on her and she doesn't have any open sores. I dabbed some blue coat in the bare areas to hide them a little better. Now onto the huge problem, our middle hen. Like a middle child, she's giving us fits. She charges and attacks the new hen. The new hen will run away from her and hide by me or will seek refuge by our other Australorp. If the bully gets her to squat, everyone will join in and start pecking her. I break up those instances quickly because she's doing nothing to defend herself. The bully got so bad that the new hen couldn't eat or drink even though I have multiple food/water sites. Our coop/run situation isn't huge so it's hard when the new girl is afraid of the #1 hen and the bully. They split up and one guards the coop, the other guards the run. To try and solve this, I decided to separate the bully. I put her in a dog kennel in the garage. In the 2 weeks that the bully was removed, the new hen became more courageous. She's not 100% integrated, but she was better. For the next few days it's supposed to be blazing hot and the bully can't be in the garage. I put her in with the rest of the flock and everything went to heck. The new hen perches at the highest point in the coop. She can't get food or water. I take them out to free range and they're ok as long as the new hen doesn't get cornered by the bully, which she doesn't for the most part. After the heatwave (about 2 more days) I'm putting the bully back in the garage. It's been about 6-7 weeks that we've had the new hen. I'm just wondering if anyone has suggestions to make this integration happen a little easier with the bully. Please don't suggest freezer camp. The bully is my sweet hen, she loves to be held and is the one hen that comes up to people to socialize so getting rid of her is out of the question. After the heatwave is over I'm planning on rearranging the coop and run. I'm hoping that making it look different will shake things up a bit. My original group of hens freak out if I change the shavings in the coop so I'm hoping that a huge blast of "differentness" may help. Thank you so much for making it through my post. I'd appreciate any advice. I'm not at my wit's end, I just want peace and for the new girl to not be so picked on. Thank you!