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Question introducing new hen (HELP PLEASE)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rooster's_Wife, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Rooster's_Wife

    Rooster's_Wife Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2007
    hello, i saved another hen today, 17 others were killed in the last month from predators.. "Betty Lou" was the lone survivor.. her owner asked me if i would take her... many of you already know that my hubby and I have our pet hen "Scarlette".... Well, i brought the other hen home, and it's obvious they do NOT like each other... when Scarlette walked up to the coop, they tried to fight each other through the wire.. there was a little blood, but i was right there.. so they were immediately taken apart... they are completely separated right now, but they CAN see each other, and are , i'm almost positive, not using Nice words back and forth.. LOL.... [​IMG]
    Now, with myself being new to the wonderful world of Chickens, How long will this aggression go on? Will it eventually stop? It kinda scared me watching them.. I would like them together one day in the new coop with the nesting boxes...Please help! Thanks for ANY advice!
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Think of it like this- Scarlette is mad because she's not the only child anymore! Betty Lou is probably scared out of her mind because not only did she lose all her friends (and Lord knows what the poor thing saw and heard) but she's moved to a new place.
    Each one of those is traumatizing by itself, but you have all three situations here!
    Give them both time. They are both very stressed out. It's stressful enough to have a new flock member come without all the other trauma going on. Keep them together like that so they can see each other and get used to each other. You might also want to just spend some time to comfort each of them... maybe just a half hour or so after work.
    It could take a lot of time. It look over a month for me to introduce two silkies to my group, and I'm still having some little problems.

    Edited to add: Next time you put them together, try a neutral place, not the coop. Try it on the lawn, or someplace where one chicken can run from the other in case there is another fight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2007
  3. Rooster's_Wife

    Rooster's_Wife Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Oh, she is defenitly mad.. she been taling back to me all day.. LOL [​IMG]
    Thanks for the GREAT advice.... This ought to be fun.. LOL... Gotta love them chickens.. [​IMG]
     
  4. MstrFiksIt

    MstrFiksIt Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2007
    Bloomingdale Michigan
    My wife and I have a large coup...when we introduced new chickens to the flock we kept them in a dog crate inside the coup...

    this seemed to help get them introduced and it let everyone know that they would be living there as well.

    I hope this helps

    Gary
     
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I've been in this situation...It makes you feel bad that they're not getting along and what were you thinking getting another bird....blah blah blah...
    Obelisk the Tormentor, my almost 4 year old Leghorn hen, lost her sister, Slifer the Sky Dragon in August. I wasn't going to get another hen because she seemed fine by herself. She mourned her buddy for a few days, then went back to normal. In December, we brought Miss MoneyPenny home...she's a Silkie/Cochin mix bantam...The introduction did not go well at all...Obelisk attacked Penny and I had to separate them. I stuffed Penny in a cat carrier and took her out in the mornings so that they could get to know each other. Another thing is to quarantine the new bird for a month. That way your bird won't get something from the newcomer and vice versa...but back to the main issue...
    They finally started getting along. Then Penny went broody and it all started again...Penny is now bald on her neck on one side from Obelisk pecking her...but the feathers are growing back. I have separate bowls for each of them and I leave the cat carrier open so that if Penny needs to "escape" she can. It's gotten alot better since I've been able to let them out during the day. Also if you feed Scarlette first, then BettyLou, she will know that she is still the "top" hen and that might keep the struggles down too.
    I agree that the both of them are stressed...I also like the neutral territory that CarriBrown suggested.
    Good luck. As of this past week, Penny follows Obelisk around like her little sister.
     
  6. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    ok, now I need some advice here, please. If I get some new chickens (have had my grown hens for three weeks)and if I keep them in a dog cage...how do they eat and drink, etc.? I mean there will not be much room in there for accessories?? Do I just keep them in there and let them out in the pen when the others are out free ranging?I am thinking this would be hard since the others come back to their pen often during the daytime. I am thinking of getting four new ones to add to the flock or maybe I should just forget to get some new ones? [​IMG] I am a newbie and have learned so much from everyone and it is appreciated.
     
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    Having the new hen in a crate, but near the old one while they bed down at night is a good time to introduce them. Hens are very mellow at night, and they can get used to the sound of each other's voices and presence.
    However, there is undoubtedly going to be some trash talking during the day, and some physical aggression, maybe even with blood. I've always found that the less I interfere, the quicker the process goes. Humans trying to interfere with the pecking order they are trying to establish never works. I had to learn that lesson one year when I was introducing younger hens to one older survivor who needed a new flock. The old one had always been the queen (and a favorite of mine), so I interfered every time one of the youngsters picked on her. All this did was make it worse. She was much happier when I let her just adjust to the fact that she was now lower on the totem pole, and the fighting stopped.
     
  8. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    well,thank you,chickbea. I agree with you. It is very tempting to interfere and I probably would have if I hadn't been reminded of the pecking order. You are very wise.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  9. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    I would get the little baby waterer and feeder and put those in the pen. You could alway build a larger pen with a couple of 4 x 4's and some chicken wire and keep that in the coop with the others until they adjust.
    Quote:
     

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