New Girl - Kind of sad

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by HennyJenny, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    So - I had my little farm rescue chicken in the bathtub for two days until the weather warmed up after my other two girls kind of beat her up the other day. She got several meals all to herself and cleaned up and her eye opened back up and seemed fine. Tonight - it supposed to be warm enough that I felt like I could turn the heat lamp off (it's warmer outside than it has been in the coop with the lamp on). So - I stuck her back in the coop in the dark and I gave her a hot water bottle. Now that everyone is not locked up in the coop maybe she'll have a chance. I can not have an indoor chicken. It's just too much. Now I'm just going to sit back and let nature take it's course. I feel kind of bad - her life with me has been probably more comfortable than it ever was on the farm (she was at the bottom of the pecking order there too). I took her outside several times today for about twenty minutes at a time and moved her to the laundry room where it is much colder than the rest of the house this afternoon. (It kind of sounds like I'm getting ready to move my geraniums outside in May [​IMG] I'm starting to think the trip to freezer camp two months ago would have been more humane. I guess this is the way the chicken world turns but it sure isn't any fun to watch. I don't guess I'll take on any more birds I haven't raised myself. This is really more of a random rambling - or maybe a vent - but I just wanted to throw out into the chicken raising universe that I don't know what else I could do for this little chicken. *sigh*

    Jenny
     
  2. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    I hope that the new girl has a long, happy, productive life with you! I don't know too much about introducing new hens... haven't done it myself, but I have read that putting them in at night can help. She'll probably get picked on. I have read that sometimes people remove the worst aggressor for a few days and that can shake up the pecking order. You might want to take her aside once a day and give her some food and water since the other birds might try to keep her away from it. Good luck!
     
  3. Serrin

    Serrin Chillin' With My Peeps

    To the best of my limited knowledge HennyJenny, you've taken the first step the right way....introducing the new bird at night in the dark. The rest of your flock will definitely notice her come morning, but they might be a bit more accepting of the additional bird.

    In the past, I've always kept new chicks in a brooding cage up on the top shelf in the coop. After of course a suitable quarantine period. [​IMG] Being up on the top shelf, the rest of my girls could just barely see the youngsters and they can certainly see the bigger girls down below.

    By the time the new girls are too big to be in their brooder cage all day, I would then move them out to the scratch yard and close off the hen door. This way they had plenty of room to stretch out all day and get lots of sunshine, fresh air and food and water, while the big girls still had access to the nesting boxes by going through the human door. This put everyone at eye level with each other, while still having a barrier between them.

    It gives everyone a nice "get acquainted" period each day. By the time the little girls are ready to be integrated with the big girls, things usually go very smoothly. We might have one or two tussles the first couple of days. But, nothing that a bit of extra food spread further apart didn't take care of.

    I think the hardest part for you is going to be that she's just one bird. Things tend to go a bit better when you have several new birds to introduce. Something tells me chickens ain't too good at counting! [​IMG]

    Good luck with your new addition! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that she'll be accepted by your other chickens quickly! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  4. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    New girl has been with us for about two and a half months. I quarantined her for four weeks and then initially stuck her in with the girls about a month ago. Since then we have run the gammut of bottom of the pecking order harassment. I brought her inside Saturday because it was so incredibly cold and the other two had pecked her eye and were pulling her feathers out again. It's unfortunate but she went to the coop about the time it got cold and snowy out and they didn't have anything to do but be upset about the New Girl for a month solid. I am sometimes perturbed when chickens act like chickens - but I'm even more perturbed when they act like mean girls. I have tried just about everything short of building New Girl a coop of her own. I went out there this morning though and she was off the roost (where they keep her cowering most of the time) and the other two were outside and there didn't seem to be any new damage. I'm just getting a little battle fatigued. Since she had 48 hours of warmth, food she didn't have to fight for, and some attention - she seems a little less fragile and cowering and I am hoping now that the weather is somewhat milder they will find a way to work around each other without more bloodshed. Chicken Drama - who knew....
     

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