Introducing a young orphan into an existing flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by discogod, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. discogod

    discogod New Egg

    Jun 6, 2016
    Hello All, I was hoping to get some input about how to proceed, here's the situation:

    A friend dropped off a single, young (3-4 months old I figure) Brahma hen as a "gift" to add to my coop. I am aware of the difficulty involved of introducing a new chicken, so I initially refused. But needless to say I was sucked in and now It's here. So I have an existing flock of 2 adult chickens right now, with a fair-sized outdoor run and enclosed coop. Right now the new chicken is separated but close (the new chicken is inside a good sized dog crate within the outdoor run).

    So here's my question. Should I give this new chicken away to a good home or should I try to integrate it? I'm worried that spending weeks and weeks trying to integrate her into the flock will be a waste a time, because she's alone and much much smaller than the adult chickens (about 1/3 the size). Any input would be fantastic!
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC!

    Integrating can take months no matter the size of the chickens, however being there is only one of her and she is smaller than the others, it may take a while to get her worked in.

    However all this being said, it can be done. I would leave her in a dog crate within the flock for several weeks so they all get to know her. They can all see but can't touch her. In a few weeks after she has become part of the flocks scenery, go ahead and mix her in. Make SURE you have plenty of space for all your birds, at least 5 square feet in the coop per bird and 10 square feet per bird in the run. Start the integration in the run instead of the coop so she has space to escape. You WILL need to add more food and water stations as they may try and starve her out. I would keep the dog crate in the run so she can hop up on it to escape the rest of the flock and keep an eye out for bullying. If any of them get to be too much, you may need to cage them for a while or even use pinless peepers on them.

    I wouldn't give up on a single chicken and would attempt to integrate her in if she were mine. Keep in mind it does take months for any amount of birds to mixed into a flock however. It may be challenging. But you never do know...she may turn out to be the best bird you have ever kept.

    Good luck and I hope all works out well for you and your flock!
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    totally agree with Two Crows - you just have a small flock. Some people have to integrate into large ones- = a lot more cranky birds to deal with.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad that you have joined us. Personally, i would try and get hold of at least one more pullet of the same age. A younger, lone pullet will not fully integrate with the adults for quite some time, whereas having a buddy to hang out with can improve things considerably. AND, its always great to have a good reason to get more chickens [​IMG]

    All the best
  5. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! You have some fab advice so I will wish you the very best of luck. Enjoy your time here on BYC :frow
  6. discogod

    discogod New Egg

    Jun 6, 2016
    Thanks everyone, this is a huge help, a really great resource!

    Take care all! thanks again!
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! You got some good advice here, best of luck with the integration!
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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