trouble introducing new hen

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In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 5, 2008
I have a small flock. I have a 5-yr old hen and half a dozen youngsters -- all are under 4 months old including one rooster. The youngest is a beautiful Welsommer hen who is about 4 weeks younger than the others.

We got her a month after the others so after we moved her outdoors, we kept her separated from the others by a wire fence. For a few days we removed the fence, thinking she was ready, but I noticed she was hiding in a box all of the time. Outside of the box, she acts very scared around them, more scared than she is of me. So Today we put back the wire fence because we don't want her to be hurt by the others and maybe she just needs more time to get used to the idea of the others.

I have two questions: the first one is pretty obvious; what else should I do to acclimate her to the others now that she is Not off to a good start?

The other question regards the rooster's role in this. He just started crowing and trying to mate, at least with the older female (I saw, I laughed). I've heard that roosters will keep the hens in line, that is, he keeps them from picking on each other. Is this true?
Check out this thread, especially the links on Cmom's page.

As far as the rooster question, some will keep the hens in line and some won't. Don't expect much from an immature rooster however. He needs to assert his dominance over the flock before he can keep anyone in line. An experienced hen will not let an inexperienced, immature rooster boss her around.

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