Introducing new hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CandJHens, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. CandJHens

    CandJHens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    We lost 3 of our hens to a fox in the spring. After getting new chicks raised we just introduced the 3 new hens into our remaining 2 hen coop. One of the 2 older hens is being quite bossy, but there does not seem to be any real damage being done. My three new girls are staying in the back of the coop most of the time, but do come out around dusk. I'm just wondering if I should separate the bossy hen into our holding coop for a few days to bring her down a notch. Any thoughts on that?
     
  2. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    hiCandJHens,
    You and I have almost the same situation (I'm sorry about the fox...it is heart wrenching). I hope someone answers your post (I am in one of the other threads) because I need some wisdom here as well. But, as an fyi, we took our bossy hen out of the henhouse for 2 nights and she slept in a dog crate. The 3 younger ones still went to the nestbox, where they have been relegated since Harriet wouldn't let them roost. We put them on the roost with the elder who is ok, mostly, with them but they were unsure about the whole transaction. As soon as we let Harriet out with them in the morning (they range when we are home) she went for them, as usual, and they cowered, as usual.
    So, even though I had read remving the offender and upsetting the norm might help, it seems if it is to work at all, 2 nights isn't enough (and maybe they have to be removed entirely for a bit, not just at night.).
    One weird thing is that Harriet is upset/unhappy in general-she stays in the vicinity of the others but a bit apart and was yelling a LOT today, in a way that said she was just not digging life just now. It is kind of sad (reminds me of tough elementary school schoolyards?) because she is a favorite of mine.
    I hope your crew shapes up and becomes a whole flock, however it plays out. Let me know id you discover a good method.
    Trish
     
  3. CandJHens

    CandJHens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    thanks Trish for your response. We did manage to move old Bossy to our 'baby' coop last night. In fact, she is acting like she's on vacation in there! I gave her some of her favorite treats and this morning she was laying by the pool. Not really, but she still looks happy. As for the others, Reds, our other remaining hen seems to have stepped into the highest rank, but not nearly as aggressive. She plucked a few feathers and ate them, but this morning she and our pullets (finally using the correct lingo!) seem to be living quite happily. Again she's on top, but the girls are not running and hiding from her. So day one is going well. I'll keep you posted. We are thinking of keeping Bossy on vacation for a week.
     
  4. CandJHens

    CandJHens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    Day 4 and I think Bossy Boo is getting a little tired of being alone. She was yelling at me while I was in the garden, so much that I thought something was wrong, I think we will reintroduce her to her coop mates tomorrow. I went out with a flashlight last night to find all the girls roosting together, so I'm happy to see that. Tomorrow will tell...
     

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