What's the best way to have a companion or two for a single older hen


12 Years
Nov 20, 2007
Hi there .

Just a few days ago we acquired an older hen. She is around 4 years old . A barnevelder we think. Our neighbour over a couple of paddocks away didn't want her anymore. I suppose because she would no longer lay every day. I think maybe there may have been some problems with the 'pecking order' of their small flock of mixed breeds.

By the by , we have two cheeky pekin ducks. Well a drake and a duck & were considering buying 3 ex battery hens which would have been Shavers.

Anyway, we now have this one hen with us.

when I went to the animal feed store to pick up a few things for the hen, the person that owned the store suggested that I buy one of the young pullet shavers that are around at the moment. ( It is Spring here in NZ ) & then sneak the pullet into the hen house at night , putting it close to and under the wing of this older 4yr old hen. The suggestion is that she would see this as her chick....but... I am not sure at all about this . Would this work please?

I think the young pullets are only around 6/8 weeks old , which form what I read is young anyway.

The other thought was to go ahead and obtain two ex-battery hens as planned and try to introduce them to the single hen. These would most likely be 15/18 month old Shavers.
would this work do you think?

Or perhaps one young pullet and a couple of battery hens.

I just don't know enough to choose what to do for the best.

Help !

Just keep them separated, but visual and able to hear each other for a week or so, then combine your poultry. This should work well and, though they will still have a little pecking order behavior, no one should get too beat up in the process.
If I were you I would get a couple of the young pullets (less likely to have contracted some disease and not stuck with bad habits yet), then do as Beekissed says before you integrate them. I don't think it would work to stick them under the hen (way old, and she's not broody), but she might be a bit less hostile with younger chickens.

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