Sundog24

In the Brooder
Oct 18, 2020
12
5
13
Western North Carolina
We lost all but one of our golden comet hens to a bear attack over the weekend. After we fortify the coop, we need to get another chicken or two to keep her company, I know they don’t do well on their own. Would it be best to only add one in this case? We had issues trying to add one to our full flock earlier in the year, and they were pretty horrible to the new chicken, so we returned her. I’m thinking if we only add one, they will be on a level playing field and can establish a pecking order easily, but I’m not sure. Does anyone have experience with adding hens to an “orphan” hen? Does the fact that the coop/run is her domain give her some power to handle adding multiple chickens?
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
2,845
8,295
401
Wisconsin
I don't have experience adding to an orphaned hen.
I normally always add enough to the flock so that they can still hang together if the flock separates.
 

Hei 20

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Oct 8, 2020
1,479
7,314
283
We lost all but one of our golden comet hens to a bear attack over the weekend. After we fortify the coop, we need to get another chicken or two to keep her company, I know they don’t do well on their own. Would it be best to only add one in this case? We had issues trying to add one to our full flock earlier in the year, and they were pretty horrible to the new chicken, so we returned her. I’m thinking if we only add one, they will be on a level playing field and can establish a pecking order easily, but I’m not sure. Does anyone have experience with adding hens to an “orphan” hen? Does the fact that the coop/run is her domain give her some power to handle adding multiple chickens?
I'm sorry for your loss 😱😱😱
 

abraga

Songster
May 4, 2017
644
579
192
Abingdon, va
Anytime you add new chickens there's usually a bit of fussing as chickens will establish a pecking order. Weather you add one or more there will likely be some fussing initially. I would add more than one, that way, a single hen will not bear the brunt of pecking order establishment. Feed them when u add tge new hens, perhaps an extra feed pan, lots of treats to keep them busy. There will be some fussing amongst the hens as they establish pecking order but it should resolve itself quickly. You can also try introducing them with a barrier between them for a few days to, but they will still need to work out who's the top hen.
 

Sundog24

In the Brooder
Oct 18, 2020
12
5
13
Western North Carolina
I'm sorry for your loss 😱😱😱
Anytime you add new chickens there's usually a bit of fussing as chickens will establish a pecking order. Weather you add one or more there will likely be some fussing initially. I would add more than one, that way, a single hen will not bear the brunt of pecking order establishment. Feed them when u add tge new hens, perhaps an extra feed pan, lots of treats to keep them busy. There will be some fussing amongst the hens as they establish pecking order but it should resolve itself quickly. You can also try introducing them with a barrier between them for a few days to, but they will still need to work out who's the top hen.
Thanks for the advice!
 

Pghelp

Songster
Jul 4, 2018
175
255
146
Vallejo, California
Sorry to hear you lost most of your flock. I wouldn't add just one. If possible I would consider a few all near the same age, maybe 3 or 4 juveniles who could hang out together.
 

Pghelp

Songster
Jul 4, 2018
175
255
146
Vallejo, California
If they're younger than her, I doubt they will. She's going to be queen of the coop so she might peck them a bit and remind them of that. My fear is that if you only get one, she may torment that lonely one instead of seeing it as a companion. Good luck!
 

Sundog24

In the Brooder
Oct 18, 2020
12
5
13
Western North Carolina
If they're younger than her, I doubt they will. She's going to be queen of the coop so she might peck them a bit and remind them of that. My fear is that if you only get one, she may torment that lonely one instead of seeing it as a companion. Good luck!
That makes sense. Thanks so much!
 

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