My RI Red hen does not fit in with the rest of the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RedheadErin, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So here is the situation.

    Starting in April, My kid and I raised 6 chicks from an embryology project. The person who helped us sex them got it backward and instead of 2 roos and 4 hens, we got the opposite--4 roos and 2 hens. The roos started fighting so I placed 2 of the roos at my friend Theresa's farm.

    I now had 2 roos and 2 hens, all siblings, all raised together from Day 1. (All Leghorn/RI crosses, so I'm told).

    IN July, My son then bought a RI Red hen from a friend for $5. We were told to put her in the shed at night with the others and in the morning they would all get along.

    This did not work. The Leghorn hens (Meave and Molly, or M & M) never liked the RI Red (Brigid). One roo (Brian) positively loved her, going so far as to put her under him at night on the roost. THe other roo (Connor) didn't seem to care one way or the other about her.

    Seemed like everyone was at least tolerating each other for a while, but Brigid (RI) still seemed like and outsider. About a month ago, I caught the 2 remaining roos fighting, and Brian (the leader, I think) had a gash on his comb. We decided one of them had to go and for some bizarre reason, my kid wanted to send Brian away and keep Connor, and I allowed it, against my better judgement.

    As soon as we sent Brian to my friends farm, Brigid started staying out all night. We suspect Either Connor is running her off, or the hens are doing it and Connor doesnt bother to stop them. The birds free range in the yard during the day, and have a nice little shed to sleep in at night.

    Last time she was gone for 2 days, and we had almost given up, when my husband went out to lock up and found her in the coop as if nothing had happened. Now she is not allowed to wander the yard without supervision.

    I should add here that Brigid is a family pet. She has never produced an egg for us, but she is beloved by all. She is small, timid, and very cuddly. My son brings her in the house almsot every day for at least a few minutes ( she seems to especially enjoy morning story time) and she falls asleep in his lap. On cold days when we don't want to keep her in the pen alone, she has been coming in the house with us. She sits quietly in a laundry basket with a towel under her and some food and water nearby. She is a strange bird, to be sure, but very sweet.

    SOOOOOO.....

    I can't have this bird that needs to be supervised all the time. I would like her to figure out that this is her home and that she belongs here, not in the neighbor's pine tree. Here are some options I have thought of:

    1. Convince my friend to trade back the rooster that liked her.
    2. Go buy her a girlfriend from somewhere (another RI red, perhaps?)
    3. I could adopt a family of 4 RI reds (3 girls and a roo) from an animal shelter (They are about the same age as the birds I have now)
    4. Go buy her a man
    5. Housebreak her

    What do you think?

    Oh yeah, we were TOLD that this bird was about 1 1/2 years old in July, which would make her about a year older than the rest of them. The fact that she doesnt lay eggs makes me wonder if she is actually much older than we were told. How would you tell? Does it matter to this situation?
     
  2. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just wanted to pass on some [​IMG]
    Hope someone with good info can advise you what might be the best situation for your hen & your family.
    Good Luck.
     
  3. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me, and I know nothing, I would go with Door #1.
     
  4. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    go with no.3....... add more chickens....
     
  5. cambriagardener

    cambriagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would not have more than one rooster for so few hens. I'd let your RIR be a pet. It sounds like you enjoy her. I find it interesting that chickens have such unique personalities. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Too late for #1. The birds won't recognize the old roo, so he will be like a whole new bird to them. He will likely be attacked.
    #2 is a possibility, but introducing 1 new bird to an already established flock is very tough, and there is nothing that says your RIR won't hate the newbie.
    #3 is definitely appealing, but I would worry about biosecurity bringing in new birds that you know nothing about their health history. Tempting, but too risky.
    #4 You don't need any more roos.
    #5 Chickens can't be housebroken, but there are diapers available for them. I don't advocate keeping chickens as house pets, but that's just me. Do as you see fit.

    Good luck.
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My 2 cents: I would go with #1 (but since the roos were fighting aggressively, only if you were swapping out your current roo) or #5 (chicken diapers, since I haven't read of success with housebreaking chickens).

    #2 and #3 would be out for me, because the newbies may not like her either (or vice versa)...maybe you'd end up with LOTS of hens that pick on her instead, and #4 for the same reason - not all hens like a particular rooster, and not just any rooster will buddy up and protect that hen (as evidenced by your current rooster).
     
  8. diggerthechickenman

    diggerthechickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    More Chickens!!!
     
  9. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well today we found her sitting on the other hens eggs! We dont want chicks right now, so we took them away form her.
     
  10. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everybody for your replies. I would like to try and get my big rooster back, but I think he may not remember us, and they may not remember him, as one poster said. But I think he had a nicer personality. He was a little bit bigger and I think more of a natural leader. When he was here, there were no problems with anybody wandering off.

    Whether I can bribe my friend, who has been so patient with me already, to capture him, is another story.

    I am partial to adopting this other chicken family. That would make 6 hens and 2 roos, total of 8. We want to get a few chickies this spring, so then we will have 10 girls and 2 boys, which is about all our shed will fit.

    Since we found Brigid sitting on eggs that do not seem to be hers, In suspect she has some mothering instinct. Maybe in the spring we will give her a job of helping raise new chickies.


    On a side note, is it true that RI reds always lay brown eggs?
     

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