Introducing my 15 week old BA pullet to the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nutmeg1980, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. nutmeg1980

    nutmeg1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Madison, WI
    This is kind of a long story, but I'm hoping for specific advise, so here goes....

    I hatched two Black Australorp chicks in late July - I started with 19 mail order eggs, 3 hatched, and 1 died a few days later. Since I wanted more laying hens, I bought 6 full sized pullets in mid August. Three of those have started laying, and have a well established pecking order.

    Since September, I've had the BA babies in their own little run and dog kennel inside the larger run for the older hens. They have chicken wire separating them from the older birds, but they've been able to interact. One of the BA's started to crow a few weeks back, and since I live in the city and can't have a rooster, I re-homed him this week.

    So, now I have one 15 week old BA pullet in the little run all by herself. She's about 3/4 of the size of bigger pullets and growing fast. She also has a crooked toe and a slight limp. I've let her out into the big run (supervised) once or twice. Things seemed to go OK, until the last time when all the older hens cornered her against the fence and started pecking her. Her instinct is to run away from them, but when she was cornered she couldn't.

    So, my question is, what is the best way to introduce this young one to the flock? It's getting cold, and I don't want to keep her in the dog kennel for too much longer. I've read that it's good to give her places to hide from the older ones, but what's to stop them from following her to her hiding spots, cornering her, and pecking her to death? I'm especially worried since she does limp a little and I'm afraid she can't run as fast as the other chickens. This is turning into a stressfull situation - I really appreciate any advise!! Thanks!
     
  2. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can you take one of your older pullets out and put the two together? Wait a week and re-introduce the two.

    It will mess up your older flocks pecking order. All your hens will be thinking about their own spot in the order and not ganging up on the newbie.

    It'll still be rough but should keep any one fight from getting out of hand.

    Oh, something I just thought of. Having a platform or roost outside can help. She can get out of sight of the others and it's alot harder to fight on a roost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009

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