Revising My Chicken Introduction Plan~ ADVICE Needed!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ponygal12, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. ponygal12

    ponygal12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey everyone!

    I obtained a new chicken named Rover not to long ago. Right now, she's in a cage, inside the coop. She has a minor injury, do to pecking from the flock and it's healing nicely. My question is, when can I reintroduce her back to the flock? Her wound is just missing feathers, other than that it's healed. Instead of slowly reintroducing her, I was planning on putting her up on the roost at night. Does this method work? I know it's not magic, but I've read that everything settles down in about 3 days. Will the other chickens know it's Rover already?

    All help is appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. Falcon61

    Falcon61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Full grow? Is there a rooster? Same size breed?
     
  3. ponygal12

    ponygal12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes sorry, I forgot that info! lol

    She's 6 months old, same age and size as the others. And there's no rooster
     
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Ive used that method many times - it really works!

    Just make sure they have enough room to run away - don't lock them in the coop while you do this. Because they will need to establish the pecking order & the new hen needs room to get away from the others.

    As long as she has that - they will be fine.

    The only time I've had an issue was with a polish hen who couldn't see the big momma coming. I had to remove her from the flock.
     
  5. ponygal12

    ponygal12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At night I can't leave the chicken door open because of predators......
     
  6. ponygal12

    ponygal12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never mind.......

    So tonight, I was going to try putting her up on the roosts with the others. Except now, I have another injured chicken.............grrrrrr [​IMG]
     
  7. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Ugh! Well you should still try putting her in. It really does work. You can also probably find some hanging disks from your feedstore, how much they sparkle will catch the attention of the chickens, instead of it being on her. It can also be used for hawk-distraction if long enough.
     
  8. ponygal12

    ponygal12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know right? I've made my decision, she's going on the roost tonight. She's out with the other chickens right now.....having some free time out of that horrible cage!
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Whether you put them in at night or use another method, they will determine a pecking order. From your posts I think you understand this. And a lot of times, a flock with no rooster is more dangerous to add chickens to than a flock with a rooster. A good rooster keeps order in his flock , but the pecking order has to be determined. He will sometimes break up the worst of the fighting but often ignores pecking. I think a lot of times, the integration is not all that bad due to the personalities of the chickens involved, but sometimes it can be deadly. I think one big advantage of putting them in at night is that they get the worst of the pecking order stuff over with before the human wakes up and is around to interfere if it is a fairly laid back flock. Obviously if you have an aggressive hen or hens, it can get deadly if the new chicken does not have a way to get away.

    It sounds like you have one or more aggressive hen. With your flock history, if you do decide to put the new one in at night, I suggest you be there when they wake up to open the door and let them have room. You'll probably find the new chicken staying up on the roost and trying to stay out of the way as best she can. Something else you might consider. If you notice one specific hen being the instigator in the bullying, you might remove her from the flock for a couple of days. That might give the new chicken time to get accepted into the flock plus it will knock the aggressive hen down in the pecking order. When she gets back, she will be too busy trying to earn her place in the flock to pick on any one chicken.

    None of this is guaranteed. They are individuals with individual personality. And there might be a benefit to them waking up together. They may be more interested in eating and drinking when they first wake up instead of picking on a new hen, but I do not leave them locked up together in the morning when I go through an integration.

    Good luck! This can be a trying time.
     
  10. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I tried that method last year and it failed spectacularly. It was even more trying because I was re-introducing a hen who had been a part of the flock for well over a year. She had been terribly injured in a hawk attack and took several months to heal completely after the attack. I put her in the coop at night and at first light I went out to check the progress. She had her freshly healed back re-opened by another hen attacking her, so she had to go back into quarantine until I could get the new injury healed. [​IMG] [​IMG] I was furious!!! It was especially frustrating after already saving this poor hen once.

    I would really try to section off a portion of the coop, so the other birds can get used to her presence again before just tossing her into the fray. It is so disheartening to get a bird healed and then have it re-injured by its own cohorts. I have some plastic snow fencing I use to section off a small portion of the coop for a few weeks when doing introductions. That way the birds can see and be seen and maybe bump chests a few times through the fence, but they can't actually injure each other.

    Good luck.
     

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