introducing Harriet's human and what to do about Sunny?


8 Years
Mar 8, 2011
Hello, I am Harriet's human from Hayward, California. My family and I are fairly new to the world of back yard chickens, going on eight months now, and are absolutely wild about our girls: Reenie, Penny, Sue, Pepper, Sticky, Charlie and my namesake here, Harriet. The breeds we have are Rhoad Island reds, New Hampshire reds, Gold Laced Wyandottes, Plymouth Barred, and White Silky....Then there is our newest addition and possibly the sweetest chicken in the county, our Americauna, Sunny. And she is the reason I am joining here to see if anyone has some advice for us.
We acquired our original flock of 8 as day-old chicks. While they were all still in the brooder, our cleaver neighbor husky dog got into our garage opened the brooder and killed our two two-month old Americaunas before I caught him. The remaining 6 grew into beautiful hens and have gifted us with nearly six eggs a day even through the winter. Back in the early part of November while getting supplies at the feed store, we saw that they had some Americauna chicks, got two, and set up the brooder again. One of them ended up with a birth defect, a crossing beak, and did not make it. The other, Sunny, was now alone and so needed lots of human contact. She is almost full grown and will jump into your arms when you come to see her, nuzzle in and wait for some good neck scratching.
About three weeks ago, when it seemed that she was big enough to hold her own amongst the flock we tried the sneak-in-to-the-roost-in-the-middle-of-the-night method. At day break we heard lots of squawking. She was under attack. We tried letting them free range together to get acquainted -- to no avail. We set her up with a partition in the coop so that they could live side by side, but she is safe from attack. After about two weeks of living under one roof we tried the clandestine intro again. When the sun was up for about an hour we went to check on her. She had not left the roost to eat or drink like the others. We found her shaking in the roost with blood on her neck.
Now after about a dozen supervised introductions we are beginning to lose hope of her ever being accepted. Maybe we are just weak hearted and have to sit back and let nature take its course and LET the girls establish their new pecking order with a seventh bird. But they are just brutal and relentless and cannot bear to see her abused. We have read that they can kill, so we cannot leave them alone together to just hash things out. Does anyone have any advice?
Remove the top two hens from the pecking order and the others will have to re-establish totally. after a couple of days put one back in and then the next day put the other back. this way they have to start over from scratch and the odds for the new bird go up. also, you can get a submissive bird and pair it with the new one for awhile in their own separate area then re-introduce them together. or you could do a combo of both! Good luck!

Also free ranging them together for awhile first allows them to get to know each other in a relaxed environment. give them all treats together, free range them together, let them see each other in a safe way and yes, at some point nature will just have to take its course
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