Newbie Freak Out!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by urban orpington, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!

    So, to keep our laying Buff Orpington company we bought a Cochin Bantam and a Black Sex-link. We've got them separated for now for acclimation and quarantine reasons, but I am still freaking out.

    Henrietta, our Orpington, has always been relatively mild-mannered, but now she seems really bothered and keeps pacing around in her little run.

    Meanwhile, Zelda and Tipper, the Sex-link and Cochin respectively, have spent almost their entire time here hiding under the coup we provided for them.

    My wife pokes fun at me every time I get up to check on them. She thinks it adorable how I'm hovering over them....like a mother chicken.

    Here's my question:
    How long does it usually take for relatively young hens to become acclimated to their new home? Also, how long does it take for a hen to become used to having new friends around?



    We have no idea how old Henrietta is, she showed up in our yard about three months ago, but we think she's probably pretty young but old enough to lay.

    Zelda and Tipper are each supposed to be about 16 weeks old.

    Also, they've been here less the 24 hours, so I'm probably being ridiculous. I just want them to be comfortable with their new home.
     
  2. xmonster0

    xmonster0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2013
    Calhan Colorado
    they both want company thats why she is pacing, they hate being seperated in plain sight of each other
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    western South Dakota
    Unless you have them separated by a couple 100 feet, you are not quarantining. To properly quarantine is a lot of work and needs a lot of space. If you had an expensive flock, or a large flock I would recommend not introducing strangers or a stringent quarantine.

    In a backyard flock of less than a dozen, quarantine is not that important. Do not introduce sick birds, and do look them over for lice or mites, but it you know where they came from, and look pretty healthy and you can't separate them by 200 feet, then don't worry about it. You do have a chance of introducing something, but really you are only risking 3 birds, and it is pretty much impossible to protect them from everything.

    Put the three of them together tonight. They will wake up together and very probably not have much of a problem. If they are about 16 weeks old, they should be pretty close to the same size as the BO. Putting out a second feed and water bowl is a good strategy, but with three birds, I don't think you will need it.

    A new hen in a strange coop is a negative one, but because there is two of them, that kind of cancels the original hen in her own territory. I would expect not too much pecking order problems.

    Mrs K
     
  4. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    OK, cool.


    It's a faux-quarantine for sure, but we just aren't set up for a real one anyways.

    The new girls were a little more active this afternoon. I think they're getting more acclimated to their new home.


    When Henrietta adopted us, she was already used to being around humans. That's part of what has made me so nervous the new ones--since I am new at all of this, I have no idea what to expect.

    It's fun--but kind of stressful.

    Thanks for all the advice!
     
  5. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Chicken Newbie Update:

    Henrietta laid an egg last night.

    She must not be TOO mad at us.

    That's how it works, right? [​IMG]



    The new girls are a lot more active now, too. They're not hiding under the coup all the time.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    yes, that is always a good sign!
     
  7. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Our new girls are still afraid of their own shadows and super-skittish and they wont go up into the coup.

    Our original hen is still kind of frantic.

    ...and my worry over the chickens is starting to stress my wife out.



    When I introduce them to the same area, I am going to have to literally leave. Otherwise, their establishing of the pecking order is going to freak me out.
     
  8. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Liberty, TX
    Haha! Well, at least you can be honest about it. :) Yes, in the wee hours of the night, put them all together and let them wake together.

    Something I did, which I think only worked because our birds free-range, was to let out the newbies into the coop a couple hours before roost time (when the others were still out foraging). At that time, I closed the coop completely so no one could get in or out (have water available in and out). At dusk, the flock was ready to roost up and was miffed at me for locking them out, so when I opened the coop, all they cared about was getting to their favorite spots...completely ignoring the newbies. In the morning they all woke together and that was that.
     
  9. urban orpington

    urban orpington Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Just so I'm prepared....

    Would a little chasing and pecking be normal while they get to know each other?

    My Sex-link isn't that much smaller than my Buff Orpington, so I hope she'll stand her ground.

    I am more concerned about the Cochin Bantam. She's so wee!
     
  10. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Liberty, TX
    Yep, totally normal as they figure out who gets to sit where, and who gets first dibs at the food, etc... Just remember, a peck at the back is nothing compared to a beak full of feathers. If they aren't plucking each other to make it easier for you to eat them, then they are fine.
     

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