need advice about new ladies

CaptnGreever

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 11, 2014
31
1
31
I have 6 hens and 1 cockerel that have been together since hatching. They're around 8 months and one has started laying this week!
I brought home another hen this week around the same age and my ladies are NOT happy. They've picked on her like crazy and chase her around the run. I've taken to keeping her in a dog crate inside the run when I'm not there and at night. During the afternoon I let her out and try to keep the harrassment to a minimum. Is there a better way to do this and help them absorb her into the flock?
 

katelk

Songster
6 Years
May 6, 2013
412
11
111
White Bluff, TN
Absolutely not. It may be hard to watch, but you have to let her go through the pecking order. If I have to bring in new birds I get at least two at a time from the same place so they won't be alone during this process.
You will have to just let it happen and only interfere if actual injury seems imminent. Taking her away and putting her in a separate cage only makes them start from the beginning next time they see her. Try waiting until later at night when they are all sleeping in the coop and quickly place the newbie on the roost among them. This will help because in the morning they will all wake up together and notice her less.
 

CaptnGreever

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 11, 2014
31
1
31
Thank youuuuuu!!!! I knew this was going to be the case.... I just would hate to come home to a murder lol but such is life. Especially wild life.
So just let it happen I suppose?
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,170
13,615
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
I have 6 hens and 1 cockerel that have been together since hatching. They're around 8 months and one has started laying this week!
I brought home another hen this week around the same age and my ladies are NOT happy. They've picked on her like crazy and chase her around the run. I've taken to keeping her in a dog crate inside the run when I'm not there and at night. During the afternoon I let her out and try to keep the harrassment to a minimum. Is there a better way to do this and help them absorb her into the flock?

Well, you skipped the most important part of acquiring a new bird, the 4-6 week quarantine to be reasonably sure she doesn't have anything that can pass to your flock and make them ill, including, but not limited to, lice, mites and worms.

And adding one bird is very difficult. It's always best to add at least a pair so she'll have a buddy she knows. Best to step back and do quarantine, then later, divide it up so they can see each other through a fence but not be in the same pen, then that's when you add the newbie.
 

CaptnGreever

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 11, 2014
31
1
31
Haha yeahhh..... Hindsight :/
This is a giant learning experience for me. And the advice is ultra helpful! I have a small backyard and there's not much of anywhere to quarantine. Looking back, I should have done a wee bit more investigating/preparation before bringing her home. But she was a spur of the moment rescue... And I let my heart come before my head.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,170
13,615
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Haha yeahhh..... Hindsight
hmm.png

This is a giant learning experience for me. And the advice is ultra helpful! I have a small backyard and there's not much of anywhere to quarantine. Looking back, I should have done a wee bit more investigating/preparation before bringing her home. But she was a spur of the moment rescue... And I let my heart come before my head.

Oh, you're not alone, trust me. So many other folks have done exactly the same thing. Just want to help someone avoid the heartache of having a flock decimated by a carrier of some contagion they added without that quarantine period. Next time, you'll know better. Hopefully, this time will be okay.
 

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