Introducing new hen! Not going well...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Miizki, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Miizki

    Miizki Out Of The Brooder

    93
    0
    39
    Apr 24, 2010
    I have five Bantam hens. A few months ago I took in a sixth hen, well the past month i've been keeping her in a smaller cage within the coop (trying to get them used to each other) well I also have noticed that my first five hens are missing a few feathers on their necks. I saw them fighting with each other one day and pecking and holding on to the neck! To make matters worse, the won't accept this new hen into their flock. My hens have been missing feathers for a few months before I got the new hen so I don't think it's because of that. But why would they suddenly start fighting each other? And I don't know what to do with the new hen since they won't accept it. Is it normal for them to attack the new one just to put it in it's place? I also heard of putting it in there at night, but that didnt work, I might try it again though. What should I do? They have plenty of food and water so I dot know why they would hurt each other like that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  2. Eggstra New

    Eggstra New Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    109
    Feb 5, 2010
    Springport, Michigan
    I am very new to chickens, so perhaps I'm not the best one to be lending advise. Folks on here have been very helpful tho! My first introduction went terrible as well a few months ago. I know that they do have to go through a "pecking order" and I've heard that can be ugly. A couple things I've read to help it go a little smoother are, give them lots of food to keep them busy. One woman talked about hanging back fat, heads of cabbage ect. If you can till everyone is settled back down have multiple feeders and waterers. Folks also recommended trying to introduce in a new area. This is what I did and it was very helpful. I put mine out in a run my current birds weren't used to so they had no reason to be territorial of it. They were all kind of nervous so they were more worried about staying in a group because they didn't know what to expect in this "new" area. Another idea I read last night was that if there is a size difference to give an area the smaller bird can get into where to larger ones can't get at it. But I was reading about introducing young pullets to established hens. I'm sorry your having trouble I feel your pain! I'm so nervous about putting the new little ones in with the established girls. Good luck.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well I wish I had good news or at least helpful advice for you! Sometimes it can be done and sometimes they just will not accept a new bird. I have 8 hens and one rooster and last Feb. I took in a hen whose flock mates had been killed by a dog and the owner didn't want her anymore. She is two years old, the others are a year. I sectioned off part of their run for her so they could see and get used to her and at night she slept in their coop in a wire dog crate. I did this for over three months and they still will not allow her in their coop/run. She can free range in the pasture with them but if she goes in their coop or run they attack her viciously. The last attack was particularly brutal, a lot of blood. So now, she has her own little run and rabbit hutch turned coop and I guess that's how it's going to stay because I've had it with the fighting! It's usually easier to introduce several birds rather then just one, it takes the pressure off. Good luck, hopefully you will eventually be successful! Sorry to be such a downer, I'm sure other's will chime in who've had positive experiences!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by