Introducing mama hen to our flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MistySanchez, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. MistySanchez

    MistySanchez Just Hatched

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    Dec 3, 2015
    Georgia
    We recently acquired a mama hen and her 5 baby chicks. The older gentleman had no idea how old the chicks were. In my limited experience as I've only raised 4 chicks (white leghorn) I would guess them to be at least 5 weeks old. We have had them for 2 weeks now. The mama appears to be some type of game hen. We also purchased an additional game hen hoping to get a broody girl soon to be a mommy. We went ahead & brought the mama with chicks with us too since obviously she has gone broody and is successfully raising chicks. Which was our goal. To get a good mama hen as our other girls over the years have never aspired to become mothers. She seems to be a wonderful mother from what I've observed in the last 2 weeks. However we have kept mama and baby segregated from the rest of the flock and introduced the other hen that night at the roost. The hen that was introduced was brutalized for the first several days and I had to doctor a wound after the second day. At day 5 the picking seemed to dwindle but she remains far from the rest of the flock. We have an open top run approximately 150ft by 35ft currently and have our roo, 2 white leghorn, 3 easter eggers, and 7 others that I'm not very certain of their breed. Anyhow when would be safe theoretically to introduce the mama and her babes. I know normally I think I would be comfortable at this point however her being a newbie to the flock I am a bit hesitant. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I've been a browser of byc for some time but recently joined today and this is my first post. Many thanks from NW Georgia!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    If this hen is a total stranger to your flock than you have seen what chickens do to strangers, it's always best to add younger members as opposed to adults. Side by side penning with supervised mingling is usually the best way to go, with there being chicks it may take a while before everyone will mingle without incidents, you were lucky with the other one as she could have been seriously hurt, it's also always best to introduce flock mates so everyone has a friend.

    I personally don't keep my bantam with my large fowl, they can get bullied and harassed a lot and can be even killed. Mine free range in the same area but my bantam can go back to their run and coop if they get overwhelmed.
     
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  3. MistySanchez

    MistySanchez Just Hatched

    5
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    Dec 3, 2015
    Georgia
    Yes I certainly was lucky and have learned a valuable lesson in the process which thankfully didn't result in my poor newbie being seriously injured. Poor girl, makes me feel like a horrible chicken mama. I did monitor them almost constantly for those first several days and boy did my housework suffer lol. I didn't want to take her out because I felt certain it would cause her even more stress after having been relocated, moved again and introduced later for another round of abuse. Since they have such a large run roughly over 5,000 sq ft. I was just curious how sure I could be that the mama I was posting about would protect the babies. I just know it's going to be a rough patch because mama is a complete stranger to the whole flock. They are currently housed in an enclosure inside of the run but are off the ground. I don't have another option for housing at this point and know they will outgrow their living quarters soon. These were given to us as the owner no longer wanted them and seemed burdened that she had gone off and had babies.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    I would begin with supervised outing to see how they all react, returning mom and her chicks back to her pen when you can't watch, slowly leaving them out more, every flock reacts differently to new members, I would try to house them inside the coop because getting everyone together in the coop will be more challenging. My best advice is to follow your gut instinct, if you aren't comfortable, separate, but always within sight of each other, you are basically trying to get your older chickens to forget the new ones don't belong, they will never be friends, you just don't want any aggression.
     
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  5. MistySanchez

    MistySanchez Just Hatched

    5
    1
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    Dec 3, 2015
    Georgia
    Thank you. That's great advice
     

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