One surviver left. How would we introduce her to more chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HorsebackBrony, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. HorsebackBrony

    HorsebackBrony In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2014
    3/4 Of my chickens are dead. RIP Peep, Zelda, and unnamed little black chick. :(

    She scratched my dogs nose up pretty bad though, which doesn't surprise me. Even as a chick she would show agression. Not a roo, but she sure acted like one.

    Long story short, either she got out or he got in, but he came in with a large scratch on his nose, so we went outside to investigate. We found part of the coop broken, and while Rita was chilling inside my mom found Peep dead. I didn't see her because my mom made us (my brother and I) go inside imedeatley when she found her. Anyways, the body is gone and theres no more blood, but there are feathers everywhere...

    Currently we shut the dogs inside and shut Rita into the part of the coop that didn't break. My mom's out buying the supplies to fix it as we speak. I know my brother would really like to adopt a new one, and I've heard that chickens do best with other chickens, so we were thinking about adopting a new one.

    Rita is a few months old, around 2 - 2 1/2, and there are many people selling hens a few months older than her. I know that with many animals, such as my guinea pigs, you have to introduce them carefully so to make sure they don't fight and stuff. I'm not sure how it is with chickens, but I'm sure just throwing a random new hen into the coop with Rita can't be that great of an idea.

    How would I do this properly, to make sure they don't fight? If it's relevent, Rita is a speckled sussex.
  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    First of all, you will need to quarantine. After that, you could slowly introduce the new chicken if you wanted to by way of putting the new chicken in a cage in the pen, having her where your chicken can see her without getting at her, or having brief, like twenty minutes, visits between the two before finally putting them permanently together. Or you could just put them together and watch for squabbles, which is what I do. It may be easier if you introduce one at a time, so your current pullet is not the odd one out.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If I only had one hen, I would not worry a great deal about the quarantine, but then I generally don't. I don't buy birds at swaps or shows.

    The big issue is size and age, it would be best if you could find a bird about the same age and size as your current bird. If you get bigger, older birds it could be hard on your current bird, if you get younger smaller birds, it will be hard on them.

    Make sure the run has a couple of hide outs, and a couple of roosts. This allows birds to get out of sight of each other which can help during integrations. Have a couple of feed bowls and water bowls too.

    You could probably add 2-3 new birds all at once, at night, and if you get them about the same age and size, should not be too much scuffling. Adding a single bird is much harder, as she takes all the aggression. If you add a couple, it kind of wears out the home bird.

    Mrs K
  4. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    In my experience, adding them in the day tends to get the pecking over with. I have never had the "wake up and they are fine together" outcome you are supposed to have. Same with the multiple birds at a time introduction. The new ones may just group up and leave the original bird out.I have had that happen, and that ruins the intended purpose. But it depends on the personality of the chickens and the setup. It tends to better when free ranging.

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