NERVOUS- integrating bantam with biggies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cobrien, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Our contractor rescued a bantam (old english game?) hen from being pecked to death by one of his customer's peacocks. We were reluctant to take her in as we have 7 already and live in the city. But...she's so cute!!!

    We've managed to successfully integrate little banty (Maya) with our 3 older hens who are rather gentle. Our 4-6 month old hens, 3 BA's and 1 Marans are currently in a separate coop while we wait for our new big coop to be finished. We've been letting everyone free-range together for about an hour each evening, and the 6 month olds chase the bantam a bit but nothing too serious. The bantam gets along fine with the 3 older hens (one silkie, one cochin, one polish); I am most worried about 2 of the rather dominant BA's.

    We'll FINALLY have our big new coop ready this week - 5.5' x 18' including covered run (yay!) and the goal is to integrate all of them. I'm nervous!! I know the bantam introduction may not work but now I'm attached to her and want to give it my best shot.

    I was thinking of first putting the older hens with bantam in the new coop, along with the gentlest of the BA's for several days. Then maybe adding the slightly more dominant one for several days, then the next more dominant. And finally, maybe putting Big Betty BA in last - she is big and dominant and chases little Maya the most. Was thinking that the more 'friends' little Maya has before Big Bad Betty moves in, the better. I can also make little Maya some little hiding places.

    Any other suggestions? What do you think my chances are? Worst case I can find this little girl a new home, she is cute and friendly and just started to lay eggs, but would like to try to make this work. The introduction will be carefully supervised as I know what can happen.


    Thanks!
    Colleen
     
  2. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    Well I can tell you that my little OEG hen is the ruler of the roost here. But I didn't integrate her in, she was one of my original chicks. I would say take her out there, and just see what happens. Have you quarantined her for the correct amount of time?
     
  3. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks for the reply. I quarantined her for a month, then for a few weeks she was in a cage within our coop that holds the 3 older hens (silkie, polish, cochin). We then removed that cage and she now lives amicably with her 3 friends.

    I can believe your bantam rules the roost - this one is smarter and faster than the others so I'm hoping this will help.
     

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