Rescue chicken/egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by abserbean, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have taken in a chicken that needed a home (what was I thinking?), and we are having some difficulty adjusting her. The people we got her from said she hasn't laid an egg in about four months, but I think she may have been going through a slow molt. She otherwise seems very healthy, and went through an isolation period with no signs of disease or issues. I've read all of the articles I could find about integrating a new chicken, and I know my girls are going to be put off for a while, but was looking for any other advice. She has never been around other chickens in her life (she is just over a year), and seems terrified of them. Two of my girls seem ok, two want to jump her every time she is around. So far she is staying in her own coop, she won't come out to range unless we physically remove her, but once she is out she will forage. She's not really eating much, except for the treats I'm giving her she has pretty much avoided food for several days now. Would it be okay to put one of the girls that seems fine in with her for a few days? Or should I keep my flock intact and just deal with the rough patches of integrating? I don't want the poor girl to get beaten up, she is so timid she will def be bottom of the pecking order. Any advice is appreciated! Not really sure why I did this........didn't want her to end up in a pot I guess.
     
  2. YlwBrchHobbyFrm

    YlwBrchHobbyFrm Out Of The Brooder

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    Personally, I would put her in a cage/kennel and then put it in the chicken coop. Preferably a wire-type cage so the other chickens can see her and get to "know" her without actually being able to get at her. Leave her in there for at least a few days before trying to take her out. And introducing at night is the best as they are most calm then. If they completely attack her, put her back for a couple more days and try again. Eventually you should have no problem integrating her, and she will be much happier than being alone :)
     
  3. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a wire cage to put in the run, so far they have been free ranging at the same time with side by side coops so they can see each other. My girls mostly ignore her, except for the occasional chase, and she stays away. I'm guessing it will take a few weeks, but so far I don't think she even knows she is a chicken! Poor, confused girl.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might be a good idea to put 1 or 2 of the chickens that don't pick on her in with her...see what happens.
    How long has she been out of quarantine and allowed to range with the other birds?
    Can the birds see each other in the side by side coops or only when they are ranging?
     
  5. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has been with them for four days now. They do have side by side runs, but yesterday she wouldn't come out of the coop unless we took her out, and then she promptly went back in! When they all range together she goes as far away from them as she can. It hasn't been that long yet, but she is just so scared! I thought the problem would be my flock, but they aren't that concerned with her, just mildly curious. One of my girls did chase her the first day they ranged together and pulled out a feather, so maybe she's shook up from that? She's not timid with me or my kids, but the chickens scare her half to death.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could take a few weeks to acclimate to new surroundings, just be patient.
     
  7. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, it's been over two weeks now and no improvement. They see each other every day, but she is still so terrified that she hides behind a tree or in her coop. They can free range together fine, because she stays on the opposite side of the yard. Yesterday I placed her in the run with them, and they chased her and pecked her beak, so I immediately took her out. She is okay, just a small cut on the top of her beak, but now she's more scared than ever. I knew integrating just one was tough, but I didn't think it would be this slow! Would it help to get her a friend to go in her coop, then put both of them in the larger coop in a month or so? I'm worried about her being alone now that the temps are dropping, she doesn't have anyone to snuggle with at night.Poor little neurotic chicken, I don't think I'll try integrating just one in the future.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is there one existing chicken that might not attack her?
    Put that one in her run with her and see what happens.
    If that works for a few days introduce another one
     
  9. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is one that hasn't bothered her as of yet, she's our biggest girl but she's too worried about where her next meal is coming from to care about much else! She was actually in her pen with her for a few hours yesterday, and they just ignored each other. Maybe I will try putting her in, not sure how she would feel about sleeping in a different coop though.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    She might not like, but you're the boss...and she'll get used to it, especially if you give her treats for being nice the abused chicken ;-).
     

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