One hen, adding another

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slave2hens, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. slave2hens

    slave2hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all, long story short, I'm running out of ideas.
    I have had 2 hens for just under 4 years, a Warren and a Black Rock, The Warren aged and went to sleep sunbathing 2 weeks ago (what a way to go.) the Black Rock is full fo life and has been crackers and great fun since day one. The Warren was boss hen and the Black Rock was the gentelist hen ever.

    I got a six month old Black Rock two weeks ago and have kept her in the same run, but partitioned by wire with her own temporary house. They had about an hour a day in the garden, where the original hen (Winnie - it's goig to be easier if I use names) would spend 20 minutes wrecking the garden then do a couple of grunts and charge at Tilly (the new one). I kept them apart fairly easily for the first ten days and then let them get on with it whilst they were out, it was only a few seconds of bustle before Tilly got out of the way.

    After a fortnight of keeping them apart I've removed the wire between them so they're in the same run. I've left the temporary house Tilly was sleeping in, in there.

    Today the first time they weren't seperate in the run, we had three hours in the garden with no problems (apart from the garden obviously.) Once they were back in side the run there was about five minutes of fighting (no where near as bad as I expected) and they seemed to be ok, Tilly gets out of the way, Winnie calms down.

    Later on Winnie forced Tilly into the main hen house (where Winnie lives) and wouldn't let her out, Tilly was in there most of the evening. Eventually she came out and spent the rest of the evening on the roof of her temporary house, then about 20 minutes after Winnie went to bed, Tilly came down, had a drink and went to bed herself in her temporary house.

    After the long story short, which turned into a fairly long story... Question is do I leave the temporary house in there, or should I move Tilly into the main house whilst they're alseep. She has eaten this evening, I kicked Winnie out of the run for half an hour early evening and sat with Tilly whilst she had some pellets.

    Sorry to start a new thread but the whole internet seems to have advice on adding new hens to an existing flock rather than adding one hen to an existing one hen!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I personally wouldn't push it just yet. More than likely you will find them getting along better after another month or so and probably sleeping next to each other in the big coop. It's always best for them to decide when they are friends.

    I wouldn't remove the temporary coop yet, but I might put the new one on the roost in the evening after dusk in with the original hen, but only as long as they aren't locked in so the new one can escape if necessary.
     
  3. freepebs2016

    freepebs2016 Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have a female silkie, a male silkie, and a female Easter egger. They are all between 10-13 weeks old. I am looking to rehome my rooster but am looking for more hens. I have heard that it is not a good idea to add new chickens to an adult flock. Is this true? Will my hens pick on any additional hens added to their flock?
     
  4. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am about to have a similar situation and don't really have a situation where I can fence of part of my run. I had 3 hens and I'm down to 2 and was considering adding 1 more... but thought maybe 2 is better.

    It is very hard to find good info for people who have flocks of 3 or less hens.

    I'd leave the temp house in there as long as she has access to the main coop so she can be by herself if she wants to or go inside the coop if that works out better.

    Good luck! I'll be in "almost" your shoes very soon.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Just what works for me.....Leave her in with the other hens....Take out the other house and have one flock...Like you stated a bit of fighting but nothing terrible.
    Let them figure it out...They will be fine.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^ good advice. Give them at least another couple weeks to work it out before removing other coop.

    @slave2hens It was good to start a new thread, it's better(and way more polite IMO) than lobbing on to another thread which can get confusing to get answers to your particular situation/problem. You did a great job explaining the situation, lengthy posts are not bad if they are succinct with good details, as yours was. Kudos!
    One thing you might want to try is add another feed/water station so Winnie can't keep Tilly from eating/drinking....defense of food/water is probably the number one issue in integration. Best of cLuck to you.
     
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  7. slave2hens

    slave2hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies. I do have a seperate waterer and feeder for Tilly but she's spent most of today on the temporary house roof (Winnie either can't get up there, or thinks she's out of the way so ok to ignore.) When Winnie charges she jumps up there and stays there. They've been out in the garden for a couple of hours, Tilly hides behind me when Winnie decides it's time to have another go, this only lasts 30 seconds or so.

    I'll keep the temp house for a couple of weeks, and keep kicking Winnie out morning and evening so Tilly gets something to eat and drink. Tilly layed an egg in Winnie's nesting box this morning - no idea how she managed that but I'm taking it as a positive.

    If they're still at it in a fornight I'll reconsider but I think today was a bit easier, although it's hard to judge with Tilly spending most of it well out of the way on the roof of the house in the run.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sounds like you've got it under control......now it's just patience, observation....and some chicken juggling!
     
  9. slave2hens

    slave2hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks @aart it doesn't feel as though I have it under control. I'm not supposed to be naming or getting attached to the new chicken but can't help feeling sorry for her.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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