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Please help my new hen!!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pinds77, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. pinds77

    pinds77 In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2007
    Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on this site and I need some expert help. We hatched our first time ever chickens on easter. We ended up with 6 hens and 8 roosters. We had to get rid of the rooster cause they just weren't playing nice!! So we were left with 1 Americauna, 3 Partidge Cochins and 2 Golden Campines. They all get along great. My husband decided that he wanted a RI Red. So......we purchased one at the fair this weekend. She is the sweetest hen ever. She is not skittish of us at all and loves to be patted and held (unlike our others who don't really bother with us).
    Here is my problem.....the others don't like her and are pecking at her. Granted, i am new to this whole thing, but I feel really bad for her. She doesn't fight back, but instead, she hides her head and just takes it. Is this normal? She has spent most of her time hiding form the others. We make sure that when we are home that she is eating and drinking, but we fear that while we aren't there, she isn't coming out to feed. What should we do? It is breaking my heart. Any help would be great!!!!!
  2. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I'm no expert, but i would keep her out of their run. I would gotten at least 2 so she was not going in alone to take the attention of all the curious birds. I think its a good idea to have an area set up for her to be safe, but for them to be able to get used to eachother through a wire. I have my hen house split in 2......divided by welded wire do they can ever peck at eachother to greet, but the new one can back away. The experts will help you more, but i would not be leaving RIR in there to get beat on. It is hard to add birds to an established flock. Good Luck
  3. LynnGrigg

    LynnGrigg Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    Winston Salem, NC
    First of all, you needed to quarantine her just to make sure she wasn't carrying any illness or parasite that she could pass along to your other birds - can't remember the time period but I know someone else will post with it. Then after a satisfactory quarantine period she should have been placed where she could see your other birds and they could see her for a little bit. I read it is good to wait at and put her to roost at night with your flock for the first real introduction and do this when you can observe the flock in the morning. Chickens are going to establish a pecking order. They do this even if they are hatched and raised together. Your birds will probably stop once the order is established. It's good that you have watched the interaction to start with just in case she needs to be removed from harm. Good luck!
  4. Hi, sorry you have to witness the pecking order mayhem.
    Its very upsetting to watch. This is why you should always buy 2 at a time when introducing to an established flock. The 2 new ones will hang out together., perhaps you can get 1 more hen for her to be with right now!!
    They should settle down in a few days, you can take her out and make sure she gets some feed and water, though they should let her do that even if she is last to the dish., though if not she will lose condition fast.
    can you erect a wire fence so she has her own place and can talk to them thru the wire for a week or so.
    I strongly recomend that you get her 1 friend, well that has worked for me in my early days.
    Let us know how she goes. She has been cared for very well by the sound of her nature.
    And yes quarantine is important, though here in Australia we dont have any nasty diseases yet touch wood!!!
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  5. pinds77

    pinds77 In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2007
    Thanks for your advice!!!! We have been talking about seperating her, but we just don't have the set up yet. Is it normal for her to not be fighting back?
  6. Yes indeed, if she is a nice happy going chook, she wont fight but will take the easy way out and let them have their say to her.
    If she was nasty or had a stronger temperament she would retaliate but would also cop a hiding for that!
    The fact that she is being calm about it will help her and they should accept her into the bottom of the pack.
  7. pinds77

    pinds77 In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2007
    Thank you all so much for your wisdom. Like I said, we are just learning!!!! We did put her in there at night time because we were told that is the best time. I just wish she would stand up for herself. She is definately not the smallest hen in the house!! It is just very strange the way she hides her head.
  8. The head hiding is her best defence against them pecking her face. Its common for the head to be tucked away.
    The poor darling, i wonder what type of home she used to live in.
    Dont worry, it will work out, im no expert either but there are lots of people here whom I would regard as an expert who willl pop in here to help too!
    I started off 16 years ago and went through this pecking order mayhem and its brutal but they have smaller brains than us so they just rely on their instincts.
    Just watch for any signs of bloodshed if she is kept in there.
    Do this whilst you are having quality time together out of sight of the others as they may get jealous.
    If any bloodshed it may escalate, i dont wish to alarm you however, it is rare in MY experience to have bloodshed with a new addition.
    Keep firing the questions, we are here to help.
  9. pinds77

    pinds77 In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2007
    Thanks!!!! Do you think that adding another hen right now would be beneficial? Would they team up together?
  10. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Adding another hen at this point is not a good idea, in my thoughts doubling your troubles...you need to have the one that you already have being pecked on in seperate area close to the other hens where they can see her but not touch her...she should have been kept away from them for atleast a month incase she had an illiness she could have passed on to your other hens...If you have a place you can wired off or a large dog crate will even work where they see her everyday...they can kill her by pecking and she may not be getting all the feed and water she needs and starve...
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007

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