One chicken left...your advice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dougp23, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. dougp23

    dougp23 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2009
    I started out with 4, lost one to an impacted crop and 1 to a fox. That left me 2.
    Yesterday we had a ferocious thunderstorm come through while I was at work, and when I came home, I noticed that the fence to the chicken pen had been blown over (the wind actually broke one of the wooden posts). Both chickens were nowhere to be found, and being almost 9PM, I just gave up after a brief search. About 6AM this morning, I hear Gertie out there calling, so I go running out and there she is, no worse for the wear! But no sign of Milly.....

    they seemed like such social critters. My nieghbor has a bunch of 1 year old Barred Rocks. Gertie is black (not Barred Rock, I really don't know her variety), but she is 3 years old. Still gives me an egg each day! Will she do OK on her own? Would you try adding more to the mix? I'm kind of up in the air right now between finding a new home for Gertie, or trying to add more. She had done a lot of calling and squawking today, I can't tell if she's sad or just calling for Milly.

    What would you do?

  2. bigdogmom130

    bigdogmom130 Songster

    Apr 23, 2009
    Glen Burnie
    I would get her some company, even if just another hen her age. They'll have to be separated for a week or so but then they will be fine. Could you put up a fence and add another little place for a new hen to sleep for a week or so? If so, Gertie would probably like to have another hen to pal around with.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Are you still interested in keeping laying hens? Or have you had enough and want a break?

    The answer will lead you to your next move. Your lovely hen is a social girl and likes to have friends. I have one little lovely that rides on my shoulders and lives in the house as much as with the other hens! I'm sure she misses her friends, with a little help she can have new friends.

    Given enough room and slow intro, new birds can meet and learn to live with each other.

    Whatever you decide, good luck!
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Gertie sounds as though she is worth keeping so I would ask the neighbor if he would like to sell you a hen. Then just put a fence between the 2 for a week or 2. Maybe Millie will show up to if you look around for her (that sure would be great.)

  5. Hoosier_RIRs

    Hoosier_RIRs In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2011
    North-Central, Indiana
    You didn't say how far away your neighbor is.... but is there a chance she could have ended up over there? I'm assuming you've already checked... but if not that would be the 1st place I'd look. I hope you find her but if not... the previous post are good advice... get another, get 'em acquainted, and keep 'em happy!
    Good luck!
  6. dougp23

    dougp23 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2009
    Thanks all. I found a big pile of Milly's feathers, so I can only assume Milly is not coming back.
    My neighbor with the Barred Rocks is probably 10 miles away, and the Barred Rocks are only 1 year old.
    I think I am going to give it a try. (introduce more hens to Gertie). Should I start with just 1, see how it goes, or go for 3 or 4? I would hate to see them gang up on Gertie!!

    So a separate coop too for a few weeks?
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Since she's older, I'd go for two. Her age should be an advantage, but I still worry over them ganging up on HER, and I think the likelihood would increase the more you brought into the mix. The advantage of getting them from your 'neighbor' (assuming you guys are on good terms) is that he/she may take one back or exchange if need be (things get really ugly).

    You are always supposed to quarantene for a few weeks. Some do; some don't. I've risked it when I knew the person well (and how they kept their birds), but have still done a two week separation through wire so they could familiarize themselves safely.

  8. poodlepill

    poodlepill Songster

    Feb 27, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    WOW thats a rough start for ya. Wishing you better luck with your next birds.
  9. amaranth320

    amaranth320 Chirping

    Sep 23, 2009
    This isn't really an answer, but more of a question. If the lone hen can be encouraged to go broody, is there any way you could get a fertilized egg or three and have her hatch out some chicks? Would that work? In theory, it seems like that way she'd have company, and you won't have to worry about her picking on the new additions, since they'd be "hers."

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