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Introducing single hen to established flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Amina, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,
    I take care of my neighbor's flock of six chickens on the weekend, and she recently got an easter egger pullet. She has tried several times to introduce this pullet, who is full grown at point-of-lay right now, to her flock, but has been unsuccessful. The pullet always ends up bleeding from all the pecking, so she has been by herself in a little cage for the past month. I feel so sorry for her :( My neighbor said that I could have the pullet if I want her and can introduce successfully to my own flock. I currently have two buff orpingtons, one barred rock, and one easter egger. The orpingtons are at the bottom of the pecking order, and I'm not sure who is top hen between the easter egger and the barred rock.

    So my question is, what should I do to have the best chance of introducing this new pullet without bloodshed?
     
  2. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My idea is to have the new pullet in a cage in their run for a week so that they can see her. And when I put them together, I will do so at night, and make sure I am up at dawn to ensure that they don't kill each other. I was wondering if I should take the current dominant hen out and put her in a cage away from the others for a few days and re-introduce her at the same time as I introduce the pullet. Is this a good idea? Or do you think it's hopeless to introduce just one chicken? If introducing just one chicken is really hopeless, I could start looking for a second new hen that I could introduce at the same time...
     
  3. TTracy

    TTracy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you have the right idea! Give it a go. It can be hard adding new hens no matter how many you have!
    Good Luck!
     
  4. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think it will be helpful to separate out my dominant hen for a few days and then re-introduce her when I introduce the new pullet? Or do you think I should just leave all older hens where they are, and introduce the new pullet by herself?
     
  5. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've introduced single hens by fencing part of their yard off with a separate sleep area for the new one. After one or two nights I moved her into the coop after they all went to bed, but was ready for daytime separation.
    There will probably be some fighting to reestablish pecking order. If you move the dominant ones out, that fighting will continue when you bring them back.
    Make sure there is plenty of room for the new one to run to. Lots of space is pretty important.
    Mary
     
  6. TheGoodLifeGirl

    TheGoodLifeGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    We recently got three new hens (an established flock) and introduced them to our hen who recently lost her sister. Two of the new flock have been picking on her since we introduced them to our garden. I have "caged" the bully's so that they are the one's who get thrown off and not the the one being pecked, as caging her after introducing slows the progress down and re-starts everything from the beginning. So I think what you've decided to do is a brilliant idea. Hope all goes well!
     
  7. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the input!
     
  8. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At what point should I give up? I had the new pullet (Ellie) in a cage in the run with my other hens for a week, with brief times of supervised mingling. They still seem so vicious towards her. :( She jumps on top of the cage to get away, and then one of my hens will jump up there with her and start pecking. When she jumps down to get away from that hen, the other hens get her. What do I do now? Is it hopeless?
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    How about putting one of your lower pecking order girls in with Ellie so the two of them can bond? I'd give them at least a week to bond, then introduce the two of them together, perhaps pulling the alpha hen into isolation when you introduce Ellie and her new buddy to the rest of the flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    What's the latest? [​IMG]
     

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