problem integrating new hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sehfergy, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. sehfergy

    sehfergy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    corvallis, or
    hi! i was hoping for some advice about integrating a new hen. we have a small flock of 3 hens that we raised up together from the day they were born. we adopted a new hen 3.5 weeks ago. normally we wouldn't have tried to introduce a singleton, but her situation before coming to us was one of neglect. they were quarantined & we introduced the newby (fred is her name) 1st opposite a fence. we've been monitoring them & only intervening if the others corner her or it otherwise appears they are physically harming her. i'm disheartened because it's been over 3 weeks & they still attack her at night if she tries to come inside the coop to roost. she submits appropriately, but the "charlies angels" don't let up. we have a set up for her in the run so she can escape so she's safe from predators & them, & i'm not so much worried about her being injured, but we can see her trying to integrate & the other girls won't accept her. tonite we stumbled on a potential solution, they immediately stop if the in-coop light is turned off, but i imagine they'll continue chasing her around the yard tomorrow. any advice?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Just keep putting her in the coop with the others, with the light off. Chickens can't see in the dark, and are much more mellow. They can't fight what they can't see. Make sure the coop and run is plenty big. Multiple feeders and waterers will help. Lots of space is key when integrating new flock members. It can take months for a small flock to accept a new member, just be patient. Chickens take time to adjust to new things.
     
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  3. room onthebroom

    room onthebroom Overrun With Chickens

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    I would invest in 1 or (better yet) 2 new girls ASAP to take the heat off her.
     
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  4. sehfergy

    sehfergy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    corvallis, or
    thx, i guess i just needed a pep talk. fred is just so sweet, i'm probably anthropomorphizing, but i feel sad b/c she seems to want to be one of the gang.
     
  5. sehfergy

    sehfergy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    corvallis, or

    i was considering this, but wasn't sure if that would be such a great idea. hmmmm...
     
  6. scatchandmax

    scatchandmax New Egg

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    May 18, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    We had the same issue when we introduced a singleton into our small flock. It was weeks, longer than I had heard, and even now months later she still gets pecked occasionally by the big girls. She seems to know her place in the pecking order, but she aggressively tries to cuddle with our Buff Orpington on the roost and gets pecked for it every night. In fact, they wouldn't even let her on the roost for months, and she would sleep on top of the hanging waterer until I took it out of the coop for a month or so! (They were free ranging for their whole day and had water in the yard). It's kind of heart breaking but there's really nothing you can do. I have learned my lesson about introducing new ones in pairs going forward though.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    If you have 2 enclosures, you might try putting 1 of the 3 with the newbie for a 'playdate' and see how that goes.
    Try different birds of the 3 each day.....mix and match...lol. Funny, but it can work.

    It's about territory and if you put 1 of the 3 in the enclosure that the newbie has been living in,
    it re balances the odds in respect of both territory and numbers(1 on 1 instead of 3 on 1).
     
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  8. room onthebroom

    room onthebroom Overrun With Chickens

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    Just think.... Less stress.... More eggs! [​IMG]
     
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  9. sehfergy

    sehfergy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    corvallis, or

    i'll give this a try, thx!
     
  10. sehfergy

    sehfergy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    corvallis, or

    thx! sometimes it just is what it is! [​IMG]
     

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