surrogacy for my meek/bullied girl?


Sep 21, 2020
Bergen County New Jersey
Hi All. I have a hen who has now been bullied by my top two hens to the point where no matter what I try they still kick her off the perch at night and they still chase her and put peck holes in her comb. She is super meek, never pecks back, she is the sweetest thing but I doubt she will survive much longer with these bi***ches...So...I had already ordered two pullets from a reputable farm, they are vaccinated and coming to me as 5-6 week old pullets in two weeks. I have a great quarantine set up far away from the other coop and completely separate in my garage - a nice sized combo of two small coops rigged together with a dog crate as extra space. I have never raised babies before but I have a few questions that someone experienced can really help me with
1) if it is about 30s-40s outside overnight, is being inside a garage as their quarantine home warm enough or should I supplement the heat for a while
2) I know I am supposed to quarantine but the way things are going with my meek hen, I don't hold out hope for her. What if I were to put her in with the 5/6 week old pullets while they quarantine to be their surrogate? She is small and mild mannered and I know I take a huge risk putting her in there with new pullets before quarantine but I figure one way or another she is going to die unless I roll the dice. Do you think if I get her in there and she is with them for 4 weeks as they quarantine and feather out, that they will end up being better prepared to fend off the mean ladies when they get introduced? One of them is a Plymouth Rock so she will be big. The other will be an Easter Egger. My meek bullied girl is a tiny leghorn and the bullies are huge buffs.

Any help in any of this would be so grateful. I can't even sleep because I can't bear of what they will do to Nellie next.

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
Nevada County, CA
1) That's plenty warm for them.

2) 5-6 weeks are not babies, really. Mamas usually have left them to their own devices by then. If they are coming from a reputable NPIP farm, you should be ok putting them together, but you run the risk of having them not get along. With the new girls, I'd do see-but-don't-touch for at least a couple of weeks.

I'd be tempted to isolate one of the bullies, esp if there's a "leader."


Jul 27, 2019
Mississippi Gulf Coast
yea, in the cooler with the bully. time away form the flock can change the picking order. your cooler/jail needs to be off the ground a foot or two in the coop/run so the others can see them. I say that as my broody cool get jail duty as well. jail/ isolation or integration can be on the ground but broody cooler has to cool the butt so wire bottom off the ground. also you have to break the line of sight so the bully can't see her all the time and fixate. out of sight, out of mind. your run needs to look like a junk yard.


12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
your run needs to look like a junk yard.


Even with my height advantage there was nowhere I could stand in my old pen and see every place a chicken could be.

I'm working on that with the new coop.

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