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Need advice on reintroducing a hen (kind of)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by capow21, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. capow21

    capow21 In the Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2012
    I have nine hens and a rooster. They are about six- seven months old and have been laying for most of the summer. One of my Rhode Island Red's was the first to start laying. After a few weeks she started limping on one leg, then both legs, then couldn't/wouldn't stand. I narrowed it down to Rickets. It made sense since she started laying so soon and I had just switched to layer pellets from grower and she has never been interested in Oyster Shell.

    So, I separated her to keep the Roo off of her and so others wouldn't pick on her. She had her own crate to go in and out of and I let her free-range around the coop/run and then I would bring her in the garage at night to avoid risk of predators. I gave her Osteo-Form SA, a powder supplement with a balance of Calcium, phosphorus and Vitamins A & D, along with ACV in her water and every couple of days either a bit of scrambled egg or yogurt with the calcium powder. She is now much improved. She got a little better every few days, now she is standing, walking, flying, running. She is still a bit wobbly from time to time and will lay down to rest her legs after being on them for a while. She lays 4-5 days a week and they are some of the larger of my eggs and is very sweet and happy.

    Now, it has been about six weeks and I would like to put her back with the others, but when I let them out of the coop/run to free-range four or five of the other hens pick on her. Two of them chase her. They've made her comb and wattles bleed and tore some feathers out. Now when she sees that they're out she tries to avoid most of them. The only one that hasn't picked on her at all is the other Rhode Island Red. The two meanest are Ameraucanas, then the two Golden-Laced Wyandottes.

    She has been right on the other side of fence of the run, so really that's all they've been separated by and then she hasn't slept in the coop with them.

    So, do you think they don't want her in the flock at all, ever again since they were aware she had something wrong with her. Or, do you think it's more of a pecking order thing and they need to adjust and be exposed out together a little more each day? The two hens who appear to be at the top of the pecking order (to me) haven't messed with her. It seems like none of them mess with the Rhode Island Red and she will fight all of them off away from the food dish if she is eating and she seems to love the disabled RIR. Any input is appreciated.
     

  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Songster

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    Safford, Arizona
    I wish I knew why they are mean ! I had seperated a broody hen because the others were eating her eggs. All of her eggs duds, thats she was sitting on. So I put her back in the pen with them (they all grew up together) , the rooster nearly killed her ! So now shes is seperated for good.
     
  3. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Songster

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    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    yeah, it can be tricky......if u decide to try putting them together, put her in the coop with the others after they are all asleep.
     
  4. drohan

    drohan In the Brooder

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    Oct 4, 2011
    You definitely want to re-introduce her by placing her in the coop after dark. Then make sure you let them out early before they realize they have a new hen in there with them. Over time they will settle down. She is definitely the low man in the pecking order now. It will definitely take some time, but they will come around. I have a frizzle that loses all of her feathers regularly. In the winter, I have to bring her in during the winter or she would freeze to death. When it finally warms up enough, I have to start the whole introduction phase over again. She has taken to sleeping in a cat porter rather than trying to roost on a pole. She can't "fly" and has to use a low branch. I am sure she feels protected in the porter and will hide in there when the roosters are prowling around. Good luck with your girl.
     
  5. capow21

    capow21 In the Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2012
    Thanks for the advice. I will try putting her in there one of these nights. Hopefully she won't fuss. The ones that pick on her are the lowest in the pecking order and she completely avoids them and runs from them.

    My chickens are weird. I have to roosts in their coop, but only three roost, the others snuggle up together on the floor in a pile. Maybe she will stay on the roost. I'll give it a try and see how it goes. I had them all out together for about an hour this evening and none of the hens went after this time.

    The one I've been nursing back to health is in a kitty carrier as well. She loves it!

    Fingers crossed. =)
     

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