New chicken has almost empty crop most nights

Jgrice

Chirping
Apr 4, 2020
68
34
56
Denton, TX
Hey there,

I just introduced two new hens to my flock. I have plenty of space, two different food and water stations set up, but one of the new hens just stays up on the roosting bar or on another high area away from the other hens to avoid getting pecked. She doesn’t seem to be even attempting to jump down and get food.
I’m not able to monitor them all day, but each night she doesn’t seem to have much food in her crop.
She’s acting totally normal otherwise, and I’ve had her in the flock for a little over a week now. The other new hen is still acting skittish but is jumping down to brave the flock and get food.

should I be concerned or just let it play out?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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Any photos of your set up? How long did they get to meet your existing flock before you put them together?

You mentioned a "high area" - could you possibly put a bowl of food up there so she can easily access it? When I have chicks I sometimes put food and water off the ground, as the adults are less likely to bother going up for it.

brood6.jpg
 

Jgrice

Chirping
Apr 4, 2020
68
34
56
Denton, TX
Any photos of your set up? How long did they get to meet your existing flock before you put them together?

You mentioned a "high area" - could you possibly put a bowl of food up there so she can easily access it? When I have chicks I sometimes put food and water off the ground, as the adults are less likely to bother going up for it.

View attachment 2503159
It’s really just a couple of roosting bars. Every time I’ve tried to put food up there they knock it down imediately. I did the same method of introduction I always do with my laying age hens - I put them in the coop with the others at night. Every other time it’s worked fine. I just don’t know how long I need to wait before I should be concerned.
To be clear, she is eating, just not much.
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
1,660
2,870
253
Maine
It’s really just a couple of roosting bars. Every time I’ve tried to put food up there they knock it down imediately. I did the same method of introduction I always do with my laying age hens - I put them in the coop with the others at night. Every other time it’s worked fine. I just don’t know how long I need to wait before I should be concerned.
To be clear, she is eating, just not much.
Did you rescue these chickens. I wonder if she was in a bad situation and has kinda gotten used to not eating much. Do you have a dog cage to put her in so you can monitor food intake. Put food and water in there just for her. I had a hen this summer who had a bum leg and I put her in my old small TSC coop and locked her in there so she had her own food. She couldn't get around very well so if the other pestered her she couldn't get away from them. Worked fine for me.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,948
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WA, Pac NW
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Since flock dynamics change over time, and this could just be a more shy/timid bird on top of that, she might just be having a harder time dealing with her new flock that other birds have had in the past.

If you don't already have plenty of clutter in the run/yard, adding more could help give her hiding spots so she hopefully feels a little safer coming out. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Jenjens

Songster
Jun 5, 2019
186
265
123
IL
I am dealing with the exact same thing and it has been like this since October. If anything changes or you have success with her, please give an update!
 

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