One lonely hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Bellwether, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Bellwether

    Bellwether New Egg

    Oct 8, 2011
    My 3 year old hen, Miss Tilley, lost her sister 3 weeks ago and I need some advice on getting her a new family. Would like to add 2-3 chicks. My neighbor a couple of blocks away has a rooster and 6 hens. One of the hens had a batch of chicks about 3weeks ago. I am thinking that maybe I could get some fertilized eggs and put them under Miss Tilley for hatching so that she thinks of them as her own. I can get the fertilized eggs from my neighbor but I need some advice on what to do. I also thought of introducing her to Jack, the rooster , but this might be too traumatic for her - does she go to his home or does he come to hers? Another option would be to see if I could take 2 or 3 of my neighbors chicks and see if Miss Tilley would accept them. Looking for help as I am fairly new to chicken raising and had a traumatic experience putting down Miss Tilley's sister, Freida, recently.
  2. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    Eggs will only work if she is currently broody. If your rooster is sweet he could be a good companion for her, as long as he isn't a young randy guy that wants to mount her constantly.
  3. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Sadly chances are if you put chicks with her now she will probably kill them as they are not hers.
    If you put her to the rooster it' is best to bring him to her and he needs to stay for at least 2-4 weeks.
    Your Hen wont just sit on the eggs and hatch them on comand unfortunately you have to wait until she decides to go on the brood. ( Some hens never do! and some hens do and then they kill the chicks when they hatch)
    If you really want chicks - then yes get some from your friend up the road but wait until they are "point of lay hens". Then you don't have to do all the hard work or end up with unwanted roo boys!.
    Once you have 2 or three point of lay hens - keep them quarantened for about 4 weeks ( To make sure they don;t have any nasty diseases) put them in a place they can see your girl and she can see them. That way it will be easier to introduce them. You can do this slowely under supervision. You can take one hen at a time to place with your girl for a few hours - to get them used to spending time together. That way you can limit any fighting. Then you lengthen the time and less supervision and more of them together. After a week they should be fine. They will fight though as that is how they get their pecking order. This is perfectly normal and fine as long as no one gets hurt!

    Best of luck - but I really think starting off getting a few point of lay hens would be so much easier for you right now. Chickens do better in a flock as they are not really ment to live alone. SO your girl does need a friend. - Chicken math ( A few friends!!!)

    Oesdog [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  4. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    Unless Miss Tillie is wanting to set on eggs, it would be no use to get her some eggs. If she becomes broody, THEN she will set on eggs and hatch them if they're fertile.

    She most likely will not take to chicks, either, because she is not their mom. She might even kill them. The only option for her is to get another hen or two that are the same size as her, or only slightly smaller, so they can defend themselves as she asserts her position as 'head hen'. All chickens are subject to a pecking order. She's been there first, so she's in charge of all chickens!

    Introducing her to the neighbor's rooster does not seem like an option - unless she's going to join that flock.

    If you don't want to increase your flock, she actually will be OK as a lone chicken. I had one for 9 years, as her sisters got killed by a dog early on, when they were pullets. She became very attached to all the humans in the house, as well as to the dogs and cats. She made out very well on her own, free-ranging around my entire property. She was my 'watch-chicken'.

    She will go thru some time of feeling lost without her sister, but she will become very friendly as she replaces her sister with you.

    Hope this helps!
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree I would get some older birds instead of chicks and also quarantine them for about a month. I don't know if you free range but I have put some treats out and let them free range together and there will be some bickering until they get their pecking order established. Good luck and [​IMG]
  6. Bellwether

    Bellwether New Egg

    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice - so appreciated! I have some thinking to do before I make a decision on what would be best for Miss Tilley. She is a good egg layer and well loved by me and the neighbors so it was good to hear that one of my options could be just to let her be a loner as long as she seems ok with it. I am just not sure yet.
  7. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

    Jun 13, 2009
    Diamond, Ohio
    I would put some fertiled eggs under her as soon as she goes broody, Let her enjoy being a mommy. Introducing new hens or a rooster could cause problems with her and you.. like I'm experiencing now. If she's free range and gets lonely I'm sure she'll make a trip over to the neighbors house that is if it's not to far down the road and visit.. If not then she has the whole world in her hands.. LOL...

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