Should I take a neighbors chicken into my flock?

ErinLeah

Chirping
Apr 13, 2020
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My neighbor has has 12/13 hens eaten by bobcat. He has one left and wants to give her to me. She’s 4 my hens are about a year and a half. I have a flock of 3 as one of mine recently got out and got eaten by that same fat bobcat. Is this going to be a huge headache? I have another small coop that I could put her in the yard in fort them to get used to her…but do I even want to do this? Isn’t 5 when most hens stop laying? I’m wondering if it’s worth the potential headache and disruption to my flock of girls who have grown up together since they were chicks. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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At 4 she's probably not laying very much, if eggs are a top priority for you. A single bird integration is the most difficult but since you already own an isolation set up at least you already have that to use if you do decide to take her on. Very hard to say how hard/easy it'd be to add her to your flock - it could be a giant headache, or it could go pretty smoothly (i.e. if you have ample coop and run space and docile birds), it's impossible to predict.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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Easy decision for me. Would cost me my NPIP certification, so that would be a "NO". Even if it didn't cost me my cert, by the time it had completed quarantine, we'd be coming into winter and reduced rate of lay, on top of the fact that its already 4 years old - I don't need an unproductive feed bill of uncertain genetics.

Recommend stewing and using as feed for a dog or cat. Or grind for sausage and spice heavily.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
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This lone chicken of your neighbors is going to have a rough time no matter who takes her
Three years ago something similar happened to me. A hen showed up wandering around town in winter time (snow here) and was taken in by a young couple who saw her several times eating below there burd feeder.
I had a flock of about 15 chickens at the time and was not sure how to integrate one bird but I took her. She stayed in my hutch for 2 weeks, then I started lifting her out for supervised time (she was such a sweet hen i called her sweety) most of the flock ignored her until she got to close, attack her and she would run back to me. My rooster attacked her viciously, and since I already was thinking about culling him for other instances of cruelty this was the last straw. Rooster gone!
After a couple weeks she started not running back to me for help, but just wandered at the edges of the group.
4 weeks after that she had established her place about midway on the picking order as was fine.
I was not however concerned with her age or laying abilities. This hen also I believe was about 4 or 5.
Sweety is the orange one in this picture. With my flock and our new (craigslist) rooster Ringo.
 

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Chicalina

Crowing
Aug 1, 2020
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UK
you could try putting one of your hens with her in the separate coop and then after a week integrate both of them back in. It's much easier that way. The familiar hen will most likely bond with her and then smooth the way for her back with the others, who will only be a pair anyway.
 

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