new hen too scared to roost with the rest of flock

Jul 1, 2021
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Hi! we have a new hen that was just introduced to the flock of 3- so now we have 4 total. we've had her almost two weeks. we had her separate but visible for close to a week. then when we finally let her mingle with the others, she got pinned down by our easter egger who is at the bottom of the current flock so we took the easter egger out for a couple of days. Now they are all together but the new one won't really leave a perch during the day. She also won't go in to roost at night so we have been putting her on the roost after dark and making the easter egger roost elsewhere so there's no violence when they wake up. Is it important that the new one roosts with the flock? if she doesn't will she feel isolated from the flock even more ? or can we just let her roost wherever she feels like it in the coop? should we just let her do what she does and stop interferring and who cares if she roosts with them? or do we need to be setting her in there? we just still don't trust that the easter egger will be nice when they wake up in a tiny space.
 

rosemarythyme

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A week or two isn't a lot as far as integration... it'd going to take her a while to become part of the flock.

Any photos of your set up? Adding clutter and extra feeders/waterers can help provide hiding spots from harassment and give her more chance to eat in peace. Clutter: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

As long as the EE isn't attacking to point of injury or preventing her from eating, I'd add the clutter/new feeder(s), then let them be, and let the new bird figure out where she wants to roost.
 

aart

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Single bird integration are the hardest.

This might help:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/

As might these tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Ridgerunner

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can we just let her roost wherever she feels like it in the coop?
That's basically what I do. I don't care where mine sleep as long as it is not in the nest and is predator safe. My goal with integration is that no one gets hurt, they will work out the rest of that stuff later.

we just still don't trust that the easter egger will be nice when they wake up in a tiny space.
How old is this new "hen"? Is she laying yet? To me this sounds pretty typical of an immature pullet integrating into a flock of mature hens.
 
Jul 1, 2021
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That's basically what I do. I don't care where mine sleep as long as it is not in the nest and is predator safe. My goal with integration is that no one gets hurt, they will work out the rest of that stuff later.


How old is this new "hen"? Is she laying yet? To me this sounds pretty typical of an immature pullet integrating into a flock of mH

That's basically what I do. I don't care where mine sleep as long as it is not in the nest and is predator safe. My goal with integration is that no one gets hurt, they will work out the rest of that stuff later.


How old is this new "hen"? Is she laying yet? To me this sounds pretty typical of an immature pullet integrating into a flock of mature hens.
she's not laying yet. but two of the other ones aren't either but are very close. She's definitley the youngest though- just 14/15 weeks.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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Yeah, I think the differences in maturity levels is the main problem. Her being a single bird doesn't help. Often the problems come from the lowest "older" bird in the pecking order, it's as if she is jealous of her position in the pecking order, low as it is, and doesn't want to be pushed any lower by the new bird when it matures some more. There is some bad luck in getting a hen that acts like that, not all of them do.

My thoughts are to do what you have to so you can keep the young one from getting hurt until she matures enough to join the flock. That could be another month or two, hopefully not more.
 

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