Suggestions for introducing?

rhaj

Songster
9 Years
May 30, 2010
304
0
109
NE'ern Connecticut
Is there anything I can do when introducing a new hen? She is very, very sweet and I hate to see my other (5) girls go after her and come away with feathers in their beak! How can I help???

Any suggestions at all?? I don't want her to get hurt.
 

rhaj

Songster
9 Years
May 30, 2010
304
0
109
NE'ern Connecticut
ok, my plan is a go. I have the dog crate all set up in the run... went to get her (when they went after her, I put her inside the coop and closed the door while I figured out what to do!) and she was in the nesting box... not sure if she was just hiding in there or actually laying, but I can't pull her out, so I'll wait a while and see if she is out.
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
289
316
Strasburg Ohio
Hi Dawn-

Oh, that's one of the most difficult things to do.....you're on the right track. Let the others see her, but not be able to touch her during the day. I'd actually do that for about five days. Then, the transition might be a little bit easier. There will probably still be some bickering and pecking though. It's good to make sure the newbie has a place to hide, and also make sure she's getting her share of food and water.

A good friend of mine gave me this advice. He said, when you first put them together, close the door and don't look back for about an hour. They can be pretty mean to eachother, but that's the nature of chickens, and they will establish their pecking order any time a newbie comes into the flock.

A few rules I always follow are, that I never add babies to an adult flock. I wait until the young ones are adult sized before combining them. Also, I try to add more than one at a time, space permitting, so the newbie will have a buddy. (I know you only have one.) Those things just make it easier.

Good luck to you!
Sharon
 

Dixiedoodle

Songster
12 Years
Apr 14, 2007
2,147
12
211
When I introduce my new chickens, I keep them in a wire crate during the night because I know they get up before I do! So, they would be protected in the coop. For daytime, I blocked off part of the run, they can see/hear each other but can not fight/hurt each other... I left them like this for several weeks so they could get used to each other.. After a few days, I let them free range at the same time... After a few weeks of this I closed their cage door and forced them to roost up high.. There are still some pecking but no blood and no real fights.

Maybe adding several large pumpkins or treats would help keep their minds off the new girl.

I would never add just one hen/chicken to the old flock.. It gives them ONE target to pick on... But I am sure others have successfully done it... Hope others will jump in w/ some help..
 

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