Introducing ONE Chicken to my 4 Ex-batts (ADVICE REALLY APPRECIATED... tricky situation!)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by IamLorna, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. IamLorna

    IamLorna New Egg

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Hello All!
    I am seeking as much advice as possible, any help will be much appreciated! I will give a quick briefing on myself and the girls first: I am 22, North east England and rescued 4 ex-battery hens in august this year. They have settled in lovely and I have had no problems as of yet. Coop design/pecking order etc has all fell into place lovely and they are enjoying life!
    Recently, news has broke that a chicken is on the loose at my university campus (!?) since I was a little kid my family has always adopted animals (we have had a very loyal black headed gull for 7 years now along with other various birds!) My first instinct was to try to find the chicken but the university advised me against it (on twitter) claiming it could be a pheasant! My friend, who saw the chicken, is convinced other wise.
    Since then the uni has finally gotten in touch saying the have called in the RSPCA and are looking to rehome it once it has been caught. I happily agreed!
    Now my thoughts got to how to do it....!!
    I have 4 very settled hens and have read plenty about integrating new flocks to old flocks etc but nothing on adding one hen. I am aware and worried this could go quite wrong but cannot bare to let this chicken who has been on its own for weeks now be left unloved !
    Does anyone have any suggestions with where to start?
    I have no idea if this chicken has previously been a back yard chicken/pet (I assume it has escaped nearby allotments or something although the uni hasn't had news of anyone with a lost chicken) and how it might react to my hens.
    I have quite a large coop, it is a converted garden shed with a run attached but the girls get to go and roam the garden pretty much every day (weather permitting!)
    I was wondering if secluding the chicken from my other chickens, with small introductions to each other for a while might give them time to get used to each other or would it just be best to put them all together, rearrange the pecking order and see what happens (keeping a very close eye on them all!?)
    Molly, one of my other chickens is also having a bit of a late molt although for the past few days has picked up a LOT compared to how she was and she was one of my other worries... i have read introducing new members can be stressful for birds when molting

    Please help. I am new to chicken keeping and really just interested in doing my best for the birds I save so I want to get this right!!

    Lorna
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    You should keep the new chicken quarantined for a month first to make sure she's not carrying anything nasty like mites, worms or disease. You can put her where she and your exbatts can see her, but not make contact. This will make introduction easier when the time comes. Deworm the newbie and dust her for mites and lice, as a precaution. Talking to her lots and spending time with her, feeding treats etc will help her settle and get used to you quicker. Good luck!
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I X2 the advice of sumi. Good luck to you and your birds, Lorna!
     
  4. IamLorna

    IamLorna New Egg

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Thanks for the quick reply and apologies for my late reply! Christmas has been more than hectic!
    According to my University the RSPCA have tried, and failed, to catch this chicken. So goodness knows how I will even try!
    I have been down regularly to try to spot the chicken but have had no luck... it seems everyone but me has seen the university chicken!
    I still have my fingers crossed that it is doing okay.

    In the mean time one of my ex battery girls died (quite) suddenly today, after 2 days of appearing to be a bit off colour, so I now have more chicken thoughts taking over my brain! Strange how much they can start becoming part of your life! Will miss that little lady of mine, Its the first I have lost so I suppose it will always be the hardest!

    Thanks again, I will keep you posted if I get my hands on runaway chicken!
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about your loss [​IMG] Ex-batts are very loveable. Hope you catch that wild chicken!
     

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