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Introducing another hen--ouch is she getting the $#!% pecked!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sarah, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. sarah

    sarah In the Brooder

    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    We have a small flock of 6 hens. Plenty of room, wander the garden at night and cooped during the day and at roosting time. All was well and then...

    One of the girls decided she wanted to be on top--pecked down the leader. Then she decided that wasn't enough, she wanted to be a roo and began crowing in the morning. And THEN, strike three, I caught her eating an egg. We were going to make a lovely stew out of her, but it would be our first time and running two businesses--blah, blah--no time and energy for it.

    So we swapped her for another, more docile hen. A real sweetie! But the poor thing is being pecked by all the the former leader, who seems to want to protect her, but can't keep everyone else off of her. I feel awful to have this happen and we don't have the room to keep them separated for any long period of time.

    Any suggestions? She's bleeding a bit on her feet and the back of her neck is wet from pecks. She tries to fithg back sometimes, and others she just hides in a corner.

    Will they ever settle down into an order and leave her alone? I fear I've upset the balance of our small flock and I should send her back home to her original flock and just have 5 hens.

  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Separate her but make sure that all the chickens can see each other. This will keep her safe from them, plus give them all time to get acquainted.

    Did you quarantine your new bird?
  3. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    I only had one hen about 3 months ago and got another to keep her company. She hated the new arrival and bullied her so that I had to keep them seperate. I let them see each other for the first week and then started to let them in together for short supervised periods. It has taken 3 months to get them to like each other and sleep happily together in the coop. I suggest lots of time and patience is needed. Don't let them peck the new arrival and in time they will accept her.
  4. sarah

    sarah In the Brooder

    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    To answer the quarantine question...no. At least not until I read that and the next post about letting them be divided, but see one another for a while.

    So last night, I built an enclosure within the coop. She has her own roost, water, food. And is separated by a 4' chicken wire fencing. The other 5 girls are on the other side. So far, so good. However I need to clip a wing, as she can get over the fence and into the main coop area, which she tried to do before roosting last night. I just plucked her from her chosen roost and moved her to her enclosure and now that it's light out, she seems to be staying put.

    I figured to let them all roam in the garden together in a couple of days, but keep them separated until then.

    Thoughts? Is this the right thing to try? She is such a little sweetie, I really want to keep her.

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