Introducing another chicken to the "flock"

toolmaster

Hatching
10 Years
Sep 28, 2009
5
0
7
Howdy all -
I had 3 hens up until recently, when a fox nabbed one of them. I'd like to have 3 hens, as that gave me enough eggs to occasionally give a dozen away. Do I need to raise a chick from a baby to get the 2 hens to accept her, or can I just put another hen in with them?

Albert
 

math ace

Crowing
10 Years
Dec 17, 2009
6,678
125
296
Jacksonville, FL
Either way there will be an issue. If you raise a chick - - - you can not put the chick in with the full grown hens until it grows up. So, you will have to introduce it as a full size pullet and be prepared for a week - 2 weeks of feather pecking etc due to the esbalishing of pecking order.

There are quite a few threads with tips on how to introduce new birds on here. Just do a search and you will come up with more ideas than you want . . . .
gig.gif
 

embkm

Songster
11 Years
Jan 16, 2009
571
5
139
Colbert, Ga
Unless there is a reason why you can't have 4 hens, get 2 grown pullets. Preferrably from the same place. That way all hens have a "buddy" and it won't be 2 against 1, picking on the new girl. There will still be some pecking order fights, but it should calm down pretty quickly.
 

math ace

Crowing
10 Years
Dec 17, 2009
6,678
125
296
Jacksonville, FL
Quote:
I agree with this too. When I introduced two new ones they literally had each others back. They would stand tail feather to tail feather and take on anybody from the existing flock who wanted to challenege them.

I have found the greatest thing you can do to increase to harmony and decreade the fighting during the introduction period is to make sure there are plenty of "hiding" spaces for the picked on one to go to for safety. Also, increase the number of feeders and waterers during the introduction. The alpha hens will control some and the submissive ones will have some.
 

little white

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
65
1
41
I had three hens and lost one... Went out and got a full grown hen from a farmer nearby, kept her in quarantine for a month, and then introduced her to the flock.
What happened was very interesting, and not at all what I expected. Wrote about it in my blog here: http://ScratchAndPeck.blogspot.com
 

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