One lone hen-Would like to add more

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nmsunrise, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. nmsunrise

    nmsunrise New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Clovis, New Mexico
    I had two hens and a rooster that were able to free range until dogs took a notion to kill one hen and the rooster :( I have things secure now and would like to get a few more adult hens. I'm not sure if it's possible to acclimate more hens with the one. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks so much!
     
  2. elliechooks

    elliechooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2013
    UK
    I would add them slowly. You could probably get away with adding two hens then give them a few weeks to get used to each other and establish their pecking order before adding any more or a roo.
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It's tough with just one...... Whether adding one to a flock or a flock to the solo bird, especially a hen. (Roosters are easier because Boys trump Girls in the chicken world.)

    Pecking order is dynamic, not static, even in an established flock. There's always somebody wanting to get one more rung up that status ladder.

    Any change in location or the removal or addition of one or more birds starts the process all over again, so I would not recommend extending the kerfluffle by adding some, waiting, adding more.

    Set up a segregation/integration area with separate feeder and waterer. Chicken wire and garden stakes can work for this, inside your run area, as long as there is night-time shelter. Put new birds there for about a week, maybe two, whatever you can manage. The birds will see each other but can't gang up on the solo hen. They may even peck through the wire but they can't injure her, or her them. Then remove the barrier - but maintain separate feeder/waterer for a while. (I keep two or more all the time, so the shyer birds are not prevented from eating and drinking by the bossier ones.)

    By then, nobody is a "stranger" to the other(s) any more. Stranger = danger to chickens. There may be some pecking, feather pulling, chasing and squawking, but no real injury.

    Good luck! And welcome to BYC!
     
  4. nmsunrise

    nmsunrise New Egg

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Clovis, New Mexico
    Thanks so much Linda! Sounds like a good plan and I have plenty of room for it. Wanted to start a flock from chicks this year but hubby brought the hens home because they were being bullies and the roosters came from someone that couldn't get to the eggs because of them. Henny Penny is like a puppy with me now so I just couldn't give her away, and we could use more than one egg a day, lol. Thanks again for the help and for the byc welcome!
     

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