One stray hen intro to existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LolliHen, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. LolliHen

    LolliHen New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2015
    Society Hill, SC
    Hi. About a month ago a chicken fell off a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse. Our coop is within sight of the road leading to the processing plant; we see truckloads pass all the time but this is the first time we've actually found one of the hens in our yard. She has been quarantined for 4 weeks and now is in a dog crate within the coop run. While the old flock was out of the coop run I put the new hen in a nesting box in the coop and she sat there for almost an hour. I moved her to a roosting bar - she was very unsure of her footing and flapped around a lot but wouldn't leave the roost (12 inches off the ground). Finally I moved her to the floor of the coop and encouraged her to go out the chicken door. Once out of the coop, she scratched in the dirt a bit then fell asleep. She doesn't seem to know how to roost or get down from the roosts or nesting boxes. I'm worried that once I introduce her to the flock (without a barrier between them) that she will not survive. She has been eating and drinking just fine with no signs of illness. Is it possible for her to join our flock? Are there any special steps I should take to introduce her to our existing flock (5 hens, 4 years old, no roo). Any advice is appreciated!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Aww...how nice of you to rescue her! Sounds like she was a egg factory bird and has no idea about roosting, the out of doors, dust bathing or any of it. How long has she been in the cage around the flock? I would definitely keep her within the flock in this cage for a few weeks. You might install a roost bar in the cage, mean while, when they others are out free ranging or out in the run, work with her by herself on roosting. Keep putting her up there so she can learn. At night too while in this cage...put her up on the bar and she will learn eventually.

    You are wise not to mix her in until she understands how to be a chicken. They can learn but it takes them a while. How wonderful you could give her a second chance at life! [​IMG] Just keep working with her. You might find a docile hen that might work in easily with her and let them both out to free range together or keep them together for a while so she learns from this other hen. She may always be timid and need to be kept separated or with just one other hen. Time will tell.

    Good luck!! :)
     
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  3. LolliHen

    LolliHen New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2015
    Society Hill, SC
    Thank you TwoCrows! The new hen is starting to scratch more and is more vocal. She even jumped up on a roost today! Making progress!
     

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