Missing hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sadie57, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Sadie57

    Sadie57 Chirping

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    My flock had dwindled, because of old age, down to two Bantam hens and one young LARGE rooster. Because he is so "energetic" and the poor hens are at a loss of feathers, I began searching for a couple larger hens. A young man sold me three black hens, no idea what they were. I kept them in the coop, separated, because our rooster did not like them. Thought with time he would. WRONG. Day 4 we let them free range. They stayed apart, but came back to roost two nights. Now they are gone. I caught a glimpse of them yesterday, but nothing since. Do chickens see color, because they did look a little like vultures. Should I try more ? The two Bantams raised this rooster and maybe he will always be too protective of them to accept new ladies?
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    I am sorry you are having trouble.
    Are you asking if you should try to look for the missing ones more?
     
  3. Sadie57

    Sadie57 Chirping

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    No, wondering if anyone has better insight into chicken psyche. With the two existing Bantams having hatched my rooster and being together for a couple yrs, do you have an opinion whether or not they will accept any new comers? The newbies are still hanging around the area, I see sightings occasionally and I leave a dish of pellets out for this reason.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Your rooster acted just like any other chicken in an established flock would. Chickens are territorial. They see any newcomers as a threat to food, water and other resources. Keeping them side by side in a "look but no touch" situation can help, but I think it needs to be longer. Also, if you're putting your new hens in a new environment, it helps to lock them in (preferably a coop with attached, covered run so they have room) for up to a week or more so they can adjust to thier new surroundings and see them as "home". Integrating new chickens requires plenty of space and time. (How big are your coop and run in feet by feet? Are they big enough for two more birds?") If they're confined in a coop/run, make sure there are hiding places for the new ones to get out of the line of sight of the established birds. Multiple feeders and waterers are a help, too.

    Hopefully, your new chickens will either come back, or you can find out where they're sleeping at night and catch them then.
     
  5. WhatAboutBob?

    WhatAboutBob? Songster

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    4 days certainly isn’t long enough to integrate and acclimate new hens to a flock. I would do a search on this website for integration and adding new birds to a flock.
     
    aart, Sadie57 and Jenna1414chickens like this.
  6. Sadie57

    Sadie57 Chirping

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    Southern TN.
    For anyone reading my original post, the two missing hens are back in the outside coop. With patience, I was able to get them to sort of trust that I was the one feeding them and was OK. Lured them back in, but, now, starting at square one with intergrating. The rooster stood guard most of the day while the newbies were loose just so he could chase them off if they came close. Wondering if he will ever accept them. Maybe add more than two so he is outnumbered more? And, yes, the coop is large enough.
     
  7. WhatAboutBob?

    WhatAboutBob? Songster

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    You are going to need some patience. One way to integrate is to use a barrier between the established and the new that can be seen through - like a large dog crate or a wall of hardware cloth. Did you do a search of acclimation and integration on the forum? More new birds aren’t likely to make a difference, you just need to follow the successful techniques outline by many here more experienced than I. It took me a full 5 months to integrate my flock, although a large part was due to the young pullets not being at point of lay yet....
    Don’t be surprised if it takes weeks to accomplish what you want.

    Here is the result of patience - on St Patrick’s Day, all my younger pullets are fully integrated and all roosting together.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    So 2 of the 3 new hens came back?
    Are they sleeping in the coop, eating and drinking...but free ranging and avoiding the male?
    This "young rooster".....how old is he?
     

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