My new flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by harleysville homesteader, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. harleysville homesteader

    harleysville homesteader Hatching

    Jul 21, 2010
    Harleysville, PA
    So, my first post a few weeks ago was about my lost flock (to a weasel). I mentioned the story at a family gathering and my husband's cousin said "Want new chickens?" and I said "YES!" of course.

    I went to pick up my 5 new babies 2 days ago and I'm a little concerned about one of them.

    Our cousin gave us 4 pullets from one hatching (they are about 4 months I would guess) and 1 pullet from another hatching (she is about 3 months and much smaller than the other 4). The little one we call "Henrietta". So the 4 girls all hang out together - since they are sisters and little Henrietta is an outcast. Our cousin was hoping that the change of scenery would allow Henrietta to fit into the flock better (her momma abandoned her very young and the rest of the flock was picking on her). The Fab 4 don't peck at Henrietta - but they do chase her away from the food and water.

    So, my questions are:

    a) Do you think the 4 will accept Henrietta over time?
    b) What should I do in the meantime to make sure Henrietta is okay?

    Henrietta is a little sweety and I'm already more attached to her than I was our first flock that I raised from little chicks. I'm trying to win all my new chickies over with lots of treats and attention, but I really want the 4 to accept Henrietta into their group.

    Any advice?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Provide separate feeding and watering stations so the outcast does not go hungry or thirsty. It also cuts down on potential conflict. Other than that, I mainly advise patience.

    If you are set up for it, you could try taking the hen that is at the bottom of the pecking order of the four and house her and Henrietta together for a week or more and where they cannot see the others, trying to force a friendship. It might and might not work. You could wind up with two separate groups hanging out separately, Henrietta getting dragged into the main group through her association with number 4, or the pecking order may get upset and need to be reestablished. Personally as long as they are not hurting each other I'd probably leave them alone and let them work it out. However, if it bothers you that much, you might try this.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] Totally agree with both suggestions, especially providing more than one food/water dish.
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    IMO - as long as she is smaller than the others she will be at the bottom of the pecking order.

    Just make sure she can get to food & water & she will be fine. There is 1 chicken at the bottom of every flock. Its natures way. She doesn't have the same type of emotions as a person & isn't upset by being last. In fact knowing her position in the flock helps reduce her stress. Shaking up the order is good if they are hurting each other but it wont really work until they are all the same size.

    I would give it a couple months & then try the shake up if you must.

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