We need advice about integrating new pullet into our flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by elizabethlongwood, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. elizabethlongwood

    elizabethlongwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Jun 24, 2010
    longwood, florida
    Hi there, I just joined this website because I have a problem with our first flock of chickens. We bought 5 baby chicks around Easter. They are a Buff Orpington, 2 Wyandottes, a Partridge Rock and an Easter egger (or Ameracauna). Well, the Easter egger looked alot like a rooster to us, so we brought him back to the breeder to exchange for an Easter egger pullet last week. The only other Easter egger pullet he had was a few weeks younger than the others and was healthy but missing lots of feathers on her back. We assume she was being picked at and (foolishly) thought our sweet hens would be friendly to her. Boy, were we wrong! We put her in the henhouse just as it was getting dark, and all seemed fine. By morning however, she was cowering in the corner and had a little bloody spot on her comb. I removed her and put her in a dog crate so she wouldn't be harmed. I then found all kinds of information online about how to introduce a new chicken and we have done our best to follow the advice. We keep her in her pen on our screened porch at night (to protect her from predators), and then move the pen right next to the other hens' run during the day so they can see each other and "talk" but not have any contact. Then every evening, we let all of the pullets out to free range and stay right with them so they can hopefully socialize, but intervene if the new girl gets bullied. (Sorry this is so long) The Wyandottes and somewhat the Partridge Rock are still really mean to her and go after her to pull out her new feathers that are growing in. The Buff Orp is pretty mellow with her. Okay, here's the question... We are thinking of building her a small, separate coop and run if the others never accept her. I think we should house the new girl and the Buff Orp together so she doesn't have to live alone. My husband thinks that would mess up the dynamics and pecking order in the original flock and make things worse. What do you all suggest? We are completely new to chicken keeping and could use some advice. Thanks!
     
  2. Ms.FuzzyButts

    Ms.FuzzyButts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    North Alabama
    I wouldn't build a whole new coop just for her. But I would keep her seperate from the others for a little while. You need to keep her where the others can see her though, that way they can get used to her. Maybe for a week or two. They will still peck her when you integrate, that is natural. But, in my experience, it will not be near as bad as it is now. This process has worked well for me.. Good luck!!
     
  3. elizabethlongwood

    elizabethlongwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Jun 24, 2010
    longwood, florida
    Thanks for replying. We will keep her separate but in sight of the others for another week or two. I just feel so bad for her. She is very sweet and wants to join them so badly. She's by far the friendliest to us. She likes to fly up onto our laps and just hang out. Poor thing is desperate for some company...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by