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Situation with my almost merging flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Acefit411, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Acefit411

    Acefit411 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Catskill, NY
    I had a 19 month old RIR hen in my garage for nearly 2 months (EYP issues) and now want to get her back out to the coop with the other 4 hens that are the same age. That didn't go so well... Even after putting her in at night, and monitoring the visit. I tried multiple times...there not having it.

    I have now decided to put her in with the my 16 week olds..... I put her in at last night, she hasn't left the perch all day!!!! I have gone in to feed her (she ate, but not drinking for me), and is not happy on the floor of the coop at all. There is one or two pullets that are not happy that she is there either - understood, this will go on....

    By the way, the coop has been split in half so that everyone can see each other (babies on one side,elders on the other).

    Question 1). if she is hungry enough and thirsty enough, will she get down on her own?
    Question 2). Have I spoiled her? Can this be turned around?

    I was thinking that with in the next few weeks, I will be mixing both flocks together anyway, this would be the easier way since there are 10 of them verses 4 hens and 1 rooster. By the way, the rooster has been NO help at all in this problem.... I thought he would keep order since this was his favorite hen to begin with.

    Even if I rehomed her, she seems to be very different than before.... And she may have these problems anywhere she goes.

    Ugh.... Any suggestion would help
    Thank you
     
  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    Since she was separated for 2 months, the other hens and the rooster have no idea who she is. She has to run the entire gauntlet of the pecking order again, and it may also upset the order within the rest of the flock. Sometimes the ones near the bottom feel threatened by newcomers, so 2nd closest to the bottom will be especially brutal to the hen who is at the very very bottom.

    I think the way you have their coop/run divided is perfect! That way they can see each other and get used to the idea. You will have to let them sort out the pecking order on their own. It's brutal, but once it's over with, it's settled and they don't really fight any more. You should only intervene if someone is getting truly hurt, drawing blood, etc.

    I think if she is hungry and thirsty enough, she will get down on her own. How do you know she did not get down at all? Did you watch her all day to know for sure? It's possible she was getting down and going back up to her roost of safety :) You can also feel her crop to see if it's empty, particularly at night. They should go to bed with a full crop and wake up with an empty one.
     
  3. Acefit411

    Acefit411 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Catskill, NY
    I understand completely .... Thank you :)

    I guess I'm a little over protective of her, since I almost lost her back in September. She had lost so much weight (she was as low as 4lbs.), and hasn't put on the weight as much as I thought she would (barley 5 lbs. now). At her best weight she was 7.5lbs.

    While being sick, she went through her molt, and has sinced feathered out beautifully!

    Another thought came to my head last night.... I could put small feeders at the top of the roost for her (they could hang from the plastic netting that divides the coop). Of course this would be temporary - maybe just for a few days?!?! Just worried that this move has been another stress for her, and maybe this transition would be a little easier?!?!

    Last night when I checked on all of them, her crop was empty. I hand fed her.

    I want her to rely less on me!!!! Less seeing of me I think would be best. So if I just go into the coop to water and feed once in the morning - she will be more opt to getting stimulatiion from the younger chickens, which are almost her size.

    Your thoughts on this suggestion?
    Thanks
     
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    If you put small feeders at the top, can you also put water at the top? I would be worried that she wouldn't get down to drink if food was too available.

    Can you coax her down with treats? Mine will come running from anywhere for yogurt and scratch mixed together.

    Do you have any type of coop/run separations or maybe a wire cage you could put her in? It sounds mean, but if she is in a protective cage near the other chickens, she can be close to them without being physically threatened. This gives both them and her time to get used to the idea of being near each other again. I would probably use a wire cage and set it on something up off the ground (if no run division available). This is basically achieving the same thing as her perma-roost, except for the food/water situation. She just needs some time :) and as long as you continue to make sure she is eating and drinking, she will be just fine :)
    edit: I would give her some straw nesting material, not just wire bottom; and cover it with a blanket/cardboard at night (if it were my hen)

    Oh! I always use rooster booster (vitamins, electrolytes) in their water when they aren't eating, or if there is something stressful going on (introductions, mites, etc). It will basically keep them alive with no food, if they truly refuse to eat. Good stuff.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  5. Acefit411

    Acefit411 Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
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    Apr 13, 2012
    Catskill, NY
    Thanks for responding Farmer Viola ;)

    Yes, I will have a feeder for food and one for water ....

    This will be her fourth night out with the teenagers, ugh... My older girl just doesn't want to defend her self at all! Not even on the roost!!!! She won't stand her ground. I couldn't help myself, I became the head rooster until they all settled in their spots. I closed the door and can only hope they didn't push her off after I left (I think it was dark enough they would stay put).

    I did notice today that Lady the 19 month old had a little runny nose.... :( I put some vetrx on her nostrils and under her wings before she went to roost and I put a few drops in all the waters. She must be so stressed out !!!!

    I'm going to tractor supply tomorrow morning for rooster booster.

    It so much more work when you have a chicken that throws you a curve ball!!!! I LOVE my chickens, but these last two months have done me in... I will not order or add anymore chicks to the flock that I have now. Now if Mother Nature says different, then I will cross that bridge when I get there. ;)

    I hope to get through the next few weeks, my BF is extending the coop now to add more room for the 9 teenagers that I have. I hope to have harmony :0
     
  6. Acefit411

    Acefit411 Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
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    Apr 13, 2012
    Catskill, NY
    Update:
    It's been two weeks today that my hen was moved out to the coop (after being removed do to illness for 2 months). She doesn't know what to make of the 9, 16 week old teenagers she has been rooming with. She hasn't been eating as well as I like, but I do go out to make sure she eats something from me.

    I have let her out a couple times with all the birds (including my Rooster), and she doesn't engage very well - she is very un easy and stressed out !! The rooster jumped on her today and she took about 5 minuets to get up from the ground. She ran back into the coop.....

    On a positive note, this evening at roosting time, she stood her ground and gave a few pecks on the teenagers heads as they tried to push her away :)

    I need a few more weeks before I can mix the bunch of them..... I just hope that I don't find her dead because she's not getting food out of fear of the others I have worked so hard nursing her back......

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated - thank you
    ~anna
     

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