Putting chicken back with flock

Mar 23, 2018
42
50
59
Worthington, MA
Hello Everyone!

At what point do you think it's the right time to put a chicken back with her flock? What are the signs that a chicken is better?

I posted previously about a sick EE that I had. She was lethargic, diarrhea, droopy wings, fluffed up, standing on her own and closing her eyes. I checked her crop, checked for vent gleet, checked if she was egg bound. No blood in her stool and she was vaccinated for Mareks. I've had her separated for a couple of days. Today I took her out to the yard on her own and she was munching down on grass. I have her some mash today and she's been eating that up without issue (she wouldn't eat her dry crumble). Also eats mealworms without issue. Her poop has finally been solid and normal color (though her back feathers are filthy). Her keel bone is a bit pointy so I know she's lost a bunch of weight. She does still have droopy wings and she doesn't move around much in the kennel. I don't want to move her back to the coop if she's not feeling completely well yet but it's so hard to tell. I mean she was always a perky little bird and got a bit more mellow as she got older (she's 8 mos btw). I'm going away to visit my parents tomorrow for a couple of days. I didn't want to leave her under the care of my husband (not that he wouldn't take care of her, but not the way I would), so I'm thinking of bringing her with me. Is that crazy? Should I try putting her back with the flock?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
It's unfortunate you won't be around to reintegrate your hen. Tossing her back into the flock will be hard on her unless it's accomplished gradually, and even then she will probably need to defend herself.

The way I do it is to place the patient in the coop after the flock has roosted. I let her sleep with them, and I retrieve her in the morning and place her in a protected pen during the day. I again place her on the roost at night. I do this for a few days and then let her have increasingly longer periods where she begins to mingle with the flock again.

If your husband could put her on the perch in the coop at night and then place her in a safe pen in the run during the day, and fetch her in at night, the final integration can wait until you return.
 
Mar 23, 2018
42
50
59
Worthington, MA
It's unfortunate you won't be around to reintegrate your hen. Tossing her back into the flock will be hard on her unless it's accomplished gradually, and even then she will probably need to defend herself.

The way I do it is to place the patient in the coop after the flock has roosted. I let her sleep with them, and I retrieve her in the morning and place her in a protected pen during the day. I again place her on the roost at night. I do this for a few days and then let her have increasingly longer periods where she begins to mingle with the flock again.

If your husband could put her on the perch in the coop at night and then place her in a safe pen in the run during the day, and fetch her in at night, the final integration can wait until you return.
She's only been separated for a day and a half. Is that still too long away? She was always low on the pecking order...
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,283
33,308
1,122
Colorado Rockies
It doesn't take long for an absent chicken to lose her position in the social order. Someone is always ready to challenge her when she returns. But the shorter the interval, the easier re-entry will be.
 

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