Lonely Hen oops! help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by flspnr, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    I found a great home for my Roo today, with a friend from work. She wants to start a flock of her own (yup, I'm an enabler lol). I offered her a hen to go with the Roo so she can have babies this Spring. She's got a coop all set up, and they'll free range during the day. She fell on love the second she saw them. [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting to find the Roo a home this quick and when I heard she wanted a girl, I thought it would be best to give her one that's already a friend to the Roo so she wouldn't have to quarantine our worry about pecking order stuff. So, I'm left with a lonely hen. Oops.

    I have 2 RIRs and a BR that are 6 Weeks old (was planning on moving them in, then finding a home for the Roo...) And I have 3 silkies, but they're only a week old, so they're not going out of the brooder yet.

    For today, Peep stayed in my house and hung out with me. When I had to go to the store, she squawked and looked for her friends, but finally settled into bed. I really thought she'd be okay, she hated the roo and never paid much attention to the hen!

    I made a diaper for her for now so she can come in the house and not be lonely (and she seemed very happy to chime in by the other animals and sit on my lap). But can I start introducing her to the older babies, and work on getting them into the coop? I'm in Florida, so the weather is not bad at all right now, I just don't know if they're old enough. Or should I just bring her in and give her tons of attention for a couple more weeks? Either myself our my DH it's almost always home, so she's have tons of human company.

    What would you do (other than not be dumb enough to give away you're chickens best friend!)

    She's a bantam, and pretty small at that, the babies are standards, if that makes any difference.


    Peep, in her diaper, enjoying a treat in the kitchen:

    [​IMG]

    The babies, about 6 Weeks old:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I think I would just con fess to my friend that I made a horrible mistake and ask for the 2 chickens back unless she wants to keep the roo. If she declines, then I would tell her she has to take the lonely only chick you have left because they aren't supposed to be alone. You will have some bgiiger chickens soon, and it will be easier having them the same age.
     
  3. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you sure your babies are 6 weeks old? They look like the same age/size as mine- which are barely 4 weeks. Your hen is a really small bantam, so I'd be really tempted to try her out with the LF chicks you have. But I'd keep a really close eye on them. And honestly, a single bird will be JUST FINE. I have a turkey that has been by herself for a while, and it's not ideal, but they just become sweeter birds because of it. My turkey is a 'lap turkey' she is so sweet and will come running up to me and sit down to be pet. I think your bird will be fine with whatever you decide to do-- introduce the chicks now or later.
     
  4. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    Hawkeye, I'm pretty sure they're about 6 weeks, give or take a few days. They look pretty close to how they looked a couple of weeks ago, just bigger! They're almost the same size as my bantam already. My bantam, Peep, is really really sweet, but does pick on newbies when they're introduced - she picked on the Roo relelntlessly. However, the Roo was by himself for about 3 weeks after I got him, quarantine before introducing to my 2, and he was just fine, got tons of love and tv watching time. I think that Peep would be okay, it just broke my heart when I heard her sqawking when her friends left. [​IMG] She's my baby, always was my favorite, I picked her out when I got my first chickens in June, said "I want the blue one, and one other girl." I new she was a girl and my favorite color! [​IMG] I just want her happy.

    I think that I'm going to let them all free range a bit together today and see what goes on. If they do ok, I may let them hang out on the coop together for a bit, but I can pull the babies out if necessary. I was thinking that adding in 3 would be to an advantage, because she's by herself and the other girls are already buddies. So, they might be better off than when I had 2 18 wek olds and introduced a new 18 week old.

    Also, dad's helping me build my new coop today and Monday. Should I just wait til Monday and put them all in the new coop together, that way they're all the new girls?? I'd still free range a bit together before then to get them used to each other...

    Thanks everyone!
     
  5. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You have an advantage by introducing numbers instead of just one chick to her. I had two silkies that were 'top dog' and when I brought in 10 more birds, they did try to pick on them, but there were too many, and they ran themselves crazy and no one ended up hurt. They gave up after only about 30 mins and everyone has been together peacefully after that! If you can let them free range together for a while and watch them and gage her reaction, then I'd do it. She might try to pick on them, but it may not amount to much- other than just letting them know SHE is the leader. If they get along fine after a while, I'd think they could be left together. But you know your birds and if you think it's too much too soon to keep them together even if they do well today, then go slowly. You don't want anyone hurt. [​IMG]

    ETA- too bad you're in FL, I have a friend who must have 100 seramas that she breeds. They are cute! Is that what your little indoor bantam is?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  6. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    Thanks! I have no idea really what my bantam is - she's a self blue, and someone on here told me an OEG, but she is about half the size my other bantam was! I honestly saw her as a week old chick and went "ooh! blue! I need her!" lol. I knew nothing about chickens, so didn't even ask what kind she was! [​IMG]

    Peep has already gone outside for a bit this morning, she's hanging around insie with me now (not too find of her diaper, but she's getting used to it). When it gets a little sunnier out, I'll take her and the other ones outside and see what happens.

    Thanks!
     
  7. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:exciting! I hope you post back on how they all got along! Yeah, your little girl does look like an OEGB. I really like them, too! BUT.. they are tough little things and are very determined. Hopefully she will give up quickly and accept them, but never know-- it might take a few more times. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  8. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    Well, I went ahead and put them in the coop. Might as well jump right in! Last time, I introduced one new chicken to two old ones, all about the same age, and the new one got picked on relentlessly by Peep for a couple of days, but no injuries. She just likes to make sure she's on the top of the pecking order! This time, it's her and 3 babies. And all three babies are just about her size, lol! She's panicking and pacing back and forth by the door to get out. They're checking the place out. Every once in a while they'll come near her, she'll peck and chase them away, and everyone goes back to what they were doing before. So far, so good I think! I'm going to let them all out again a little bit later - Peep just ignored them the first time. I've got the coop directly under my family room window, so I can see and hear everything while watching TV. I'm waiting to see how they do, but keeping a close eye on them just in case.

    And I was dumb enough to think, "hey, let's get 3 silkies!" Thursday, so I have to go through all this again in a few months....argh, lol!! [​IMG]

    But, so far, so good. [​IMG]
     
  9. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Sounds like she'll be fine, then. After she calms down, and figures out she has company, they'll all settle in. [​IMG] Again.. at least you have 3 silkies to introduce-- numbers is good. Throwing in one bird- that's a lot harder.
     
  10. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    This morning I went outside, and caught all 4 of them napping together! :p When almost as quickly as I saw that, the babies hopped down and hid behind the waterer, and Peep came over to check me out. When she saw them piled behind the waterer, she pecked one in the butt, and they all just froze instead of scrambling to get away. Peep walked off. Do I have a sadistic chicken?!? Is she just pecking to see the reaction and not to establish pecking order? It seems like as long as they don't react to her, she's not interested in them. Yesterday, she was fine until they ran past her, then she pecked as they ran by. Weird chicken, lol! At least they're starting to get along. It was a bit chilly last night, so I was worried Peep would get cold (I knew the babies would cuddle together). I'm glad they all slept together! I'm thinking all will be fine. [​IMG] She isn't picking on them nearly as much, even from the start, as she did with my Roo.

    [​IMG]
     

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