My Dilemma - Help?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AnnieSantiago, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Songster

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    Ok… I have a dilemma.
    I need advice from people who have experience.

    I have to get rid of one hen.
    We are only allowed 3 in Portland.

    I bought Bella, an EE, a couple of weeks ago and I really love her.
    But the other 3 totally ignore her.
    Right now, the 3 of them are in the coop (it's raining here) and Bella is in the covered run all alone.
    She's ALWAYS alone.
    They just won't let her into their little group.

    My Barred Rock Kallie is laying regularly and has been for 4 weeks!
    My Red Sex Link Sissy is laying regularly.
    Bella is laying regularly.

    My other BR Hattie is the same age as Kallie, born the same day, but has NOT begun laying. I'd prefer to let HER go and keep Bella.

    But I'm very attached to all three and I guess I'm humanizing them.

    If I break up the Three Amigos by selling the non-laying BR, will they be more apt to accept Bella?
    I'd really love to keep HER.

    If not, I guess I'll have to sell her.
    I have two people interested.

    One person has 17 hens.
    One person has 2.
    I'm inclined to sell her to the lady with 2, if I have to sell her.

    What would YOU do?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    I'd place the non-laying BR Hattie, if you like Bella that much... It normally does take chickens quite a while to accept a new member into their group. If they are not bullying her, just ignoring her I wouldn't worry that much about it, she gradually should get closer to them, probably never as friendly as if they were raised together, but closer ... and it should be better with only two old birds.
    If you want to try and make her braver about the coop, can you remove the older hens from the coop (or split the coop) for a day or two and leave Bella in there so it becomes more her territory?
    1 person likes this.
  3. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Songster

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    Yes, I could do that once I enclose the run.
    We're in the process between rain storms.
    I got the roof on the run, but still have to put up the chicken wire and pour the concrete.
    However, looks like it's rain for the next week here.

    They aren't really bullying her like they did at first, and mainly it is Sissy, the low hen on the totem pole, who chases her out of the coop or away from treats.

    I wonder if this BR will ever lay?
    She's a month behind her sister!
  4. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    I'd probably keep her (really, who notices one extra hen)?

    If you're of a more law-abiding persuasion, sell Bella to the lady with only 2 hens. You have an established flock of 3 who are bonded and have already worked out their pecking order. Disrupting that isn't worth it IMO.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Adding one bird is a tough go, all the other birds know that is the stranger. They will eventually bond, if they are not killing her, just ignoring her, but it does take time. Next time introduce like numbers to like numbers, or slightly more to the home court advantage. Or add and lose chickens all at once, shakes everything up, but seems to settle a little more quickly.

    Personally, if I don't like a hen, she goes. Don't feel guilty, and while they rest might be flighty for a bit, within 3 days they will be fine.
  6. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Songster

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon

    It's not that I don't LIKE Hattie.
    It's that I'm tired of feeding her and not getting anything in return.
    The hen born from the same clutch has been laying a month now.

    And yes, I realize I made a mistake just adding one hen.
    I'm learning...

    Thanks again.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Just on laying, I am always kind of leery of birds that are really slow to start laying compared to ones of the same bloodlines, they just don't seem to average as much over their lifetime as the ones that start more when you'd expect, always being slow to start after a molt again etc.
    It is a nuisance to introduce a new bird, and your old flock is already settled in, but you've had the new bird for a couple of weeks already and started the integration process with her, nothing really nasty seems to be going on, just the usual don't like strangers thing, so ..... I am partial to EEs and the egg color to start with, and if it was a bird I liked as well or more than a slow or non-layer, the non-layer would be out the door.
  8. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    I agree.
  9. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Songster

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, I'm beginning to think I'll give her another week, then get rid of her.
    I'd like to keep the EE.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I would take your top pecking order pullet, and put her into a separate enclosure with Bella for a week or two. This will force them to bond. Then you can put them with the other two, and remove your non-layer. I agree, best to replace the non-productive bird.

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