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

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BEVS, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. BEVS

    BEVS Hatching

    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 !

  2. BEVS

    BEVS Hatching

    Nov 20, 2007
    Is there anyone that can help please?
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    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.
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    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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