Reintegrating a hen following sickness

Bex1961

Hatching
Jul 19, 2020
2
1
8
Hi,
I am new to hen motherhood, having received 4 ex bat hens at the end of June.
I have an eglu cube, an extended eglu walk in run, which sits within a further large enclosure. This girls also can have free run of the garden too.

After having the girls 2 weeks, one of them became unwell. I separated her, and following a vet visit she had to have antibiotics, anti inflammatories and needed syringe feeding. It was a baptism of fire for me, but I did it and she thankfully pulled through.

Her re introduction has not been easy, she was ganged up on and I kept having to separate her from them. This resulted in me buying a further small coop and run that sits alongside the main eglu run, and she spent a few days in there coming out during the day. We had to be watching over her initially, using a water spray to fend off the attacks which worked well. She initially spent most of the day hiding from them, but gradually her confidence grew and whilst she remains on the fringes, she is accepted and all seems fine, and as long as they are all out free in the garden she can be left now with the others during the day.

The problem I have now is that she takes off to the main coop about an hour before the other girls every night, and then won’t leave the coop in the morning. I have tried just leaving her and waiting, but she just stays there. The bullying is severe in the run in the morning, and she is terrified to venture out unless she knows I am there and the gates are open for her to get straight out into the garden. There is one hen who maybe is slightly worse than the others, but when confined it seems if one starts on her they all do.

I have also tried putting them all back in the inner run in the late afternoon when all was calm, hoping she would be accepted and she could then take off to bed and maybe have the confidence to come out in the morning with them all. This didn’t work, immediately the others ganged up on her and it set her back the next day in the garden, where she returned to hiding from them.

I really don’t know where to go from here and would appreciate any ideas or advice. I am wondering if I should make the temporary coop and run more permanent and separate her completely, this seems such a shame given that all was going so well initially, but are any hopes of resolve futile ?

many thanks
 

Perris

Still learning
Premium Feather Member
Jan 28, 2018
3,439
14,312
517
Gower, Wales
hello @Bex1961 - welcome to BYC :frow
It does sound as if you've had a baptism by fire into chicken-keeping! Well done for holding up through it all - they are challenging situations for any one.

So, to your request for advice. You could try separating the hen that leads the attacks, instead of the one being bullied, for a few days. Or try separating the one that was ill with the one of the other 3 with whom she gets on best, so you have two pairs for a while, and then reintegrate them as a pair.
 

Bex1961

Hatching
Jul 19, 2020
2
1
8
hello @Bex1961 - welcome to BYC :frow
It does sound as if you've had a baptism by fire into chicken-keeping! Well done for holding up through it all - they are challenging situations for any one.

So, to your request for advice. You could try separating the hen that leads the attacks, instead of the one being bullied, for a few days. Or try separating the one that was ill with the one of the other 3 with whom she gets on best, so you have two pairs for a while, and then reintegrate them as a pair.
Many thanks for your reply,
I will certainly give that a try.
thank you
 

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