Reintroducing a Seperated Sick Chick

NatalieP

Songster
May 3, 2020
126
118
116
South Central Kansas
I'm not sure where to begin without typing a novel... so simple question is: how do I properly introduce a recovered chick that was seperated for 3 weeks?

The big girls (5 of them, BCM, Red Sexlink, Aconona, etc) are in a large cardboard box brooder and the almost-recovered-chick, Henrietta (Cream Legbar), is in a seperate cardboard box brooder. They are all the same age but due to Henrietta's condition (and possibly breed), she is physically a little developmentally behind (she's much smaller than the big girls, has a lot more down feathers, and comb/wattles aren't existant or as large).

I was thinking of cutting out a "window" of hardware cloth in both brooder boxes and placing Henrietta's brooder right up against the big girls box for a safe initial introduction (for about a week?) since I believe they have forgotten about her entirely by now. I was then thinking about doing a full introduction when I move them all outside in a week or 2. Thoughts?

A little backstory: Henrietta came to us as a "failure to thrive". She was very weak from the beginning but slowly improved and then steeply declined again. She barely walked at one point (I believe she might have had a deficiency?) And the only way her crop filled up was by us feeding her eggs. She's currently doing very well and has come such a long way in these 3 weeks. She's walking fine, eating a lot better, and starting to get more curious (I came home one day SO shocked to see her roosting calmly on top of her brooder box). I worry the separation is holding her back so I want her to see the other chicks safely while still gaining more strength and growing more before doing any full introduction.

Adding pictures of Henrietta (today), some of the big girls (yesterday), and a picture of when we first got them (the smallest fluff is Henrietta and you can see she was always somewhat smaller than the rest).
 

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Darrinhuns

Chirping
Mar 20, 2020
101
124
96
My take on it would be to introduce each one at a time and see who the bullies are. Hopefully if there are none then you can just put her right back in. If there are some though, then yes your idea of the window sounds perfect
 

NatalieP

Songster
May 3, 2020
126
118
116
South Central Kansas
My take on it would be to introduce each one at a time and see who the bullies are. Hopefully if there are none then you can just put her right back in. If there are some though, then yes your idea of the window sounds perfect
Thank you so much! There is definitely a bully in the group. She seems to be picking fights with someone new every few days. I need to read up on how to deal with that since my natural tendency is to intervene but I know some of the fights might be regular pecking order stuff.
 

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