Introducing Rescue Hen To Small Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by misskes, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. misskes

    misskes Songster

    Jun 15, 2017
    My brother's girlfriend is going to be bringing me a hen tomorrow that was abandoned by a family in her neighborhood. There were several but she's the last one standing now as her companion disappeared last week. I believe she is a Barred Rock. barredrock.JPG

    I have a small flock of 6 right now. I know not to just toss her in there with the others but I don't know much else about the introduction period and quarantine besides what not to do. I have a dog crate I plan on keeping her in next to the coop in order for them to get acquainted but how long do I need to quarantine her first and what should I look for as far as illnesses go?

    All advice is welcome.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Barred Plymouth Rock for sure.
    Quarantine her AWAY from the coop for 2 weeks. Make sure all is good and she is healthy, acting normal. Then place her beside the chicken run so the others get to know who she is. After they sort of "ignore" her or cluck back and forth put her in the run during the day. There will be some squabbling but it should be minimal. After 1 week put her in the coop.
    misskes likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    True quarantine is almost impossible for a backyarder to do.
    4 weeks at 100-300' away from main flock.
    Consider biological/medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    BYC 'quarantine' search

    Integrating a single bird is the hardest integration.
    This might help.

    These might too.
    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
    rbnk1 likes this.

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