Rookie error with new addition

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Subo72, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Subo72

    Subo72 In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2015
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm mortified, today I made an absolute mess of bringing home our new black rock (sadly Beyonce, from the "sick black rock chicken" thread of last week, didn't survive - leaving Babs, the light sussex, all alone).

    It was a bit of a rush job and I hadn't done my usual preparations, so instead of popping the new girl (Nancy) straight into the coop as I should have done, I absently opened up the box in the run to lift her out.

    Well, it was pretty much a disaster after that. She took flight and then we couldn't get near her to pop her inside, so the poor thing had a very traumatic afternoon (numerous panicked escapes out of the garden) and hasn't been in the coop at all. Luckily Babs has been fairly tolerant of her arrival, so she's been nervously free ranging with her when not trying desperately to keep miles of distance between her and us. Come roosting time I hoped she would follow Babs to bed, but she didn't - instead she escaped the run and roosted in a laurel bush in the garden.

    Anxious not to leave her as a convenient meal for a fox, I figured I'd just have to get tough - so I just about managed to get hold of her in the dark and she SCREAMED blue murder. :eek:

    I swiftly got her in the coop where she instantly snuggled up tight with Babs, who looked bemused but didn't object.

    I feel terrible, poor Nancy. I can only hope she calms down overnight, doesn't get beaten up by Babs and is none the worse for wear tomorrow. What can I do for her to alleviate her stress over the next few days, will she suffer any long term physical effects from this?

    I have definitely learned a lesson.
  2. ChristieB

    ChristieB Songster

    Dec 13, 2014
    Wow sounds like an adventure and a half!!
    The best thing to do would be to just leave her be now that she's in the coop. She will take some time to settle in but that's normal.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Subo72 while I agree that was probably not the best introduction to her new home, I would not worry. Nancy will probably forget the experience very soon with Babs’ help.

    I used to only have 2 gals (6 now) and when one passed away the remaining gal was very lonely/upset so like you, I had to find her a friend pronto. I had to take the risk of bypassing quarantine and put them in together.

    The original hen was a little on the bossy side but no real dramas or meaningful pecking/fighting.

    I believe the need for company far outweighs the need to repel all intruders.

    If you and Babs have a good relationship it shouldn’t take Nancy long to pick up on this and following Babs’ lead, settle down and trust you.

    Good luck with her and please let us know how you go?
  4. Subo72

    Subo72 In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2015
    Hampshire, UK
    Thank you, I feel better for reading your replies! Yes I did indeed bypass quarantine and segregation rules in the interests of getting Babs a companion sharpish - we had to do the same when we lost Patty to a fox in the summer and Yonce was left alone, so Babs had a fairly rude introduction back then too. I did a lot better that time, although I failed to contain my dog properly who spooked Babs into bumping her head and cutting her comb (cue blood everywhere). Despite that, Yonce and Babs ended up fine together too.

    Nancy's arrival was traumatic for all of us, but this morning there was no sign of serious bullying and the newbie seems perfectly fine (even confined to the run with Babs in the pouring rain). Poor thing at least knows it has a proper safe coop now, she must have been horribly lost and scared yesterday.

    I'm conscious that Babs was medicated with Coxaid (coccidiosis treatment) during Beyoncé's illness, so shouldn't I be supplementing the water now the treatment has ended (last day was Saturday just gone)? Vitamin B is depleted after such medication I believe, perhaps I could give her a tonic which would also help with any lingering stress in Nancy...

    I'm told that garlic in the water will solve all ills, but whilst very open to natural remedies I'd feel more in control with a scientific approach. Any thoughts on that?

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