New Hen not be accepted...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by two early, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. two early

    two early Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Someone gave us a Roo that turned out to be a hen and so she has joined our little group of 6.
    They were very hard on her, not letting her eat with them, chasing her away when she attempted to get close to them, not letting her near their little huddle on the roost at night. She is very timid and spends most of her time alone. Then for a few days they ignored her pretty much (except early morning feeding..chased her away again). Now they are back to being mean,mean, mean. This has gone on for about 3 weeks now and I am wondering if there are instances where a hen just never gels with the rest of the group. She is about 8 weeks old now, they are all about a year. I would never had taken on a single hen, I think it better to take at least 2 that were together, but here we are. Anyone with this situation that can help? Would adding more hens help? (Right in the middle of worming, so I can't do that right now)
    I also recently introduced a Roo that was immediately accepted (just one knock down/drag out with the Queen).
     
  2. Jeff21

    Jeff21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Poor girl.. I hope she finds her place soon.
     
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have more than one feeding station. That would get her able to eat. How much different in age is there?
     
  4. two early

    two early Out Of The Brooder

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    I have more than one feeding station, but the older girls go over and chase her away. She does eat during the day, when they are doing other things. She is a big girl (Hamburg) and does not appear to be losing weight. Sometimes I stand there over the feeder for a while to make sure she gets food...I play cop, shooing away the older mean girls. Can it be that a timid hen will just not make the necessary adjustment into the group? Can it take months for it to happen?
     
  5. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem is the age difference. It's almost impossible to add a chick (especially just one) to a flock of established hens. Can you divide the run so that she has her own space until she is fully feathered and mature so that during the day she has a break from the bullying? At night she can most likely sleep safely with the others. In a perfect world all of your birds would be the same age and from the same hatch lot. Of course, for backyard chicken keepers, that's rarely the case, so we often have to make temporary adjustments of our facilities to manage the flock. I have a FAQ about adding new birds to an established flock here.
    http://www.hencam.com/henblog/introducing-new-hens/
     
  6. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you re-arrange the roosting areas, move the feed/water area to a new spot, add some new objects into the coop temporarily, place extra feed/water stations? Chickens are creatures of habit. If you break up their routine it might help.
     
  7. two early

    two early Out Of The Brooder

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    Terry, thank you so much for your reply and leading me to your web site! A wealth of information there.
    Loved it. I like the idea of keeping compost pile inside run...they make a beeline for it when they are out for free-ranging. What other materials do you use on the ground of your run?
    I made a mistake in the age of the Hamburg (Hanzie), she is 5-6 months old. The others are about a year old now. She is the "tamest" of all the hens, approaches me and seems to know I am on her side. When I shoo others away from the feeder, she comes right over and eats. I will try moving things around in there, add some of the compost pile and see what happens.
     
  8. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really enjoyed your website!


     
  9. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When it is muddy I add coarse sand (bought at the lumber yard) for drainage. Chickens get sick from damp cold and standing in mud, so I'm careful to manage that. I avoid anything that molds, as mold is also a cause of health issues.
    I'm relieved to hear your new bird is older than you said, but it's still an age difference. If she is smaller than the others, a place in the yard where only she can fit might solve the problem. My banties would hide under low nesting boxes.
     
  10. two early

    two early Out Of The Brooder

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    Any ideas for run materials for a particular windy place. We live on a ridge that gets very gusty for parts of the year (Santa Ynez, CA), so the sand would blow all over the place. What about pea gravel or larger gravel? Then I could just hose it down when cleaning the run. Hanzie, the timid hen, is actually quite large and does fly up to the outside roosts a lot. I guess I just worry about her being so much alone. The polish hens I have are the nicest to her (ignore, rather than peck or chase); so she can sit up on the roosts with them. We were planning to add more hens (3) after we go thru this worming process, maybe that will take the heat off of her. What do you think?
     

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