Introducing Single New Hen to Existing Single Hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by megoelise, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. megoelise

    megoelise New Egg

    Jan 8, 2017

    We started our first small flock of chickens this past spring with three little chicks who all grew to be hens. Unfortunately, we lost one hen to a weasel about 4 months ago and then a couple of days ago we lost another of our two remaining hens to a hawk. Knowing that chickens prefer to have at least one other chicken as company, we are planning on attending a live animal auction to purchase a new hen tomorrow evening. What would be the best way to introduce these new hens to each other while also getting the new hen used to her new coop?
  2. dragonthehunter

    dragonthehunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2016
    New brunswick Canada
    Just put the new one on the roost at night I have never had a problem
    Edit: Yes quarantine is very necessary
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Be careful bringing in any birds from an auction, or really any new place, they can carry things that can make existing chickens sick. Quarantine is an important step when buying adult birds.

    Putting new birds, especially older ones directly into the coop can go bad. It is best to initially separate them by a fence and to not rush it. They can often work out some pecking order issues through the fence. Some birds are fine others will be vicious, so take it slow and play it by ear.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I'll let you decide the issue of quarantine yourself. With only one bird already, I'm not sure I'd bother, but it's a very individual decision.

    I"m in the opposite camp from a lot of folks as far as integration. In this case. I'd simply put the two birds together. I've done this a lot of times and never had a bad outcome. I've had birds spend days hunkered down, stealth eating, etc, but no one has ever died or been seriously injured. It's more hand's off for me, and the birds can figure things out themselves and be done with it.

    Now, this does heavily depend on having enough space. Just because you had three birds get along before doesn't necessarily mean you have enough space to integrate a new hen. At the very minimum I'd say you need 30 square feet of run space, and some of that will depend on how it's configured. Bigger is always better, and if you can free range them at first that's the best.

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