Introducing Chick to Best Friend Hens

Sandigee

In the Brooder
I have 2 hens who are best friends -- Thelma and Ellie. Ellie is Thelma's third best friend. I put Ellie inside the coop in her own run so they could get used to each other - waited the 2 weeks suggested. When I finally let them be together, Thelma stormed Ellie very quickly and made sure she knew who was the boss. In the beginning Ellie would screech and run away from Thelma if she thought maybe she was going to peck at her. That behavior has completely gone away on Ellie's behalf -- she is not shy about running for treats and getting her share. They cannot stand to be apart. My husband brought home a little chick - fully feathered, but peeping like a chick -- in his motorcycle tank bag 2 weeks ago. I have put her in the coop in a long run where Thelma and Ellie have full view of her. They are interested and she acts like she really wants to be with them. Just recently, at night, after Thelma and Ellie go up in their house to sleep, I shut their door so there is no access to the coop when they get up in the morning. They can still see everything once they come down from the roost. I open Ellie's run so first thing in the morning she can roam the coop. Several times I find her up on the platform visiting with Thelma and Ellie through the wire. Once I remove the cover from her run she will climb down the ladder and go "home" and I close her door and let the big girls out. I had allowed each of the big hens to access Birdie and both went after her prior to the 2 week period -- that was in the coop. The interaction between Ellie and Birdie was a bit odd -- Birdie stood up to Ellie, her neck feathers puffed out and she jumped straight at her with both feet. Ellie's reaction was the puffed neck as well. I also have a cool coop for hot weather and have been able to separate Birdie. The separation fence has holes large enough for heads and necks and there was some not very nice interaction, but Birdie did not back down. Today, I fixed up a small fenced yard that I have that none of the chickens have ever been in. Had treats to throw. Had Birdie in a situation where she could have access to the entire area, but only she could access the separation area. There was chasing and feather plucking by Thelma mostly. Some chest bumping with Ellie. Birdie for the most part stayed in her pen and would venture out occasionally and lay down or pick up treats. Much of the time Thelma and Ellie would just ignore her. I have read you cannot have three hens? Ever? Also, this might not be a hen? Sorry this is so long. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

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