Returning an injured hen to flock......

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by spcwife, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. spcwife

    spcwife Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2013
    One of my hens was injured by a neighbors dog and was nursed indoors for a wk. Now that she is better, I have decided to put her back with the others. She seems very scared and runs under my legs when I go out. Two of my hens chase and pluck at her at times. but all day today (first day out) she has stayed in the coop till I called her to make her drink then she went back in. Please help me. Will this pass and will the girls take her back into the group? Should I be worried she will be harmed?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    To them, she is a new chicken, so it is a similar procedure. It's best to house them side by side for a while with a fence between. You could try giving them a large outdoor area to mix in, with hiding places, and having food and water available in two areas so they can't prevent her from eating and drinking. Another method is to place the new bird on the roost just after dark, and hope she is familiar to the others by morning.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/803815/integrating-two-groups/0_20
     
  3. spcwife

    spcwife Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2013
    Thank you so much. She seems to be doing fine with the rooster and the other two hens, but when one of my smaller girls comes near her, she runs and the other chases. I was hoping to get a few more chicks soon and I am wondering if this will happen to them as well when they are ready to be brought into the flock. Do you have any information on that? I know the chicks will need to be inside for weeks but how would I introduce them to the flock when the times comes.

    Thank you so much for your help. I have been so worried about my little girl. She is the smallest of the group and has always been a 'mommas girl' per say. This morning she actually came out and ate with the flock, when I gave them their morning treats........until she was chased off by the other one. Two days out with them and things seem to be progressing, just a little slow.

    I am new to the chicken thing so any information you can give me would be great. Thanks again.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    It's a bit of a problem for many people to get used to the whole pecking order thing. It just seems mean to us, of course, but it is nature's way and unavoidable. If your lowest one in the pecking order is getting enough to eat and drink, and the others aren't drawing blood, you are succeeding. Sometimes people will remove the lowest one for a few minutes once or twice a day, give them a special feeding, then return them, if it looks like they may not be getting enough. It's actually a good idea if the flock doesn't see the extra meal, if you do this.

    Actually, I don't brood chicks indoors, at all, nor do many experienced chicken keepers. If you could somehow set it up so they brood in view of the rest of the flock, integration should go more easily. They need warmth, yes, but not as much as the books say, at least after the first few days. In my experience, chicks raised outdoors needed no heat after 3 weeks in 60 degree nights, for example.

    This cold weater brooding setup worked well for Fred, who has been raising chicks for many years:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/735392/redneck-fungshui-brooding-17-degree-temperatures/0_20
     

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