Introducing one chicken to a group of 3

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by starbuck, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. starbuck

    starbuck Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Jul 17, 2011
    I used to have 4 girls- 2 barred rocks and 2 RI Reds. The two rocks and one red were super tight. One red was always left out of the group. Sadly, she was snatched a few days ago. By what, I have no idea. We found no sign of her. [​IMG]

    My plan is to a) get a higher fence and b) replace the red with an Americauna.

    Can you tell me how best to do that, knowing the 3 are kind of a gang of their own? They're not mean, not aggressive, just always together. Ideally the new girl would already be a layer. And do you think I'm better off getting two? Its not ideal for me but I'd do it if it meant a better group.

    Thanks so much!!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's not really possible to tell you how it will go. The new one might be a loner for a long time, she might get attacked, they might keep her away from the food and water, they might mostly ignore her. If you can fence them side by side for a week or two, it might help. Lots of old timers just throw new ones in with the old flock and let them work it out. I suspect adding two new ones, if they already knew each other, would go more smoothly.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,108
    3,312
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree you never know how it will go. Adding two instead of one might help, but then it might not. If adding one is best for you, I'd go that way. This stuff does not come with guarantees.

    Usually when one just disappears without a trace, I think fox or some kind of canine. It could easily be something else, especially if she has babies back home she wants to feed. You never know for sure.

    Something else that will take a chicken without leaving a trace is a human. Also, she may have been hiding a nest and has gone broody. Just some things to consider.
     
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    5,493
    59
    268
    Mar 28, 2011
    MN
    Add two if you can.

    I only needed 2 more hens, but I'm adding 3.

    I separate mine in a wire dog kennel inside the coop once all are fully feathered. Last year it took me a solid 3 weeks to integrate 5 against 3. Now I have 3 against 8 this year. I'll do the same thing as putting the dog kennel, which I use as the brooder in the house inside the coop. I'm expecting it to be a minimum of three weeks or more. I'm not sure. My second to top EE hen may need to be separated again due to being a bully.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by