when to introduce a new chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bluespeckledhen, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. bluespeckledhen

    bluespeckledhen Hatching

    Dec 13, 2013
    I have three hens that just started to lay eggs last week and yesterday we gave my daughter an early Christmas gift, of a new baby hen (about 3 months old) The three we have are inside a fenced in area and yesterday we let the newest roam on its own outside the fenced area. Two of the hens want to get at it, one could care less. I had already read that I should keep them separate for awhile until they get used to each other. I'm curious how long this will take. My other question is, does it matter that the newest is smaller and younger? will she be more beat up because of that? I don't really want to wait until she is older to combine them because she is all alone. It seemed like last night, as it was getting darker, she was wanting to get in the fenced area with them. Last night she slept in a little crate, inside the fenced in area, while the others were in the coop. any advice would be appreciated :)

    thank you
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    For introduction, it matters a lot that the new one is smaller and younger.
    It's best to combine like numbers and like sizes.
    They are flock animals and any outsider is a threat to the health of the flock and will be dealt with accordingly, including kill the intruder.
    If you're going to add birds to an established flock you need to add more than one.

    It's also important to quarantine new birds a minimum of 2 weeks as far from your flock as possible due to disease.
    Tend your flock first and then the new bird. Wash up in between and preferably change shoes.
    During this time you can determine if she's bring gifts, like pathogens and parasites.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Agreed, it's best to integrate more than one bird. That way the abuse will be spread out and they can't all gang up on the one bird.
  4. bluespeckledhen

    bluespeckledhen Hatching

    Dec 13, 2013
    So what would happen now if I were to get another hen the same age as the newest? Would they establish an order? I feel so sad it's all alone. I'm so mad at myself for only getting one. I can't get another hen from the farm where I got the newest until the second week in January though.

    What if I separate the ones I already have and put the new one with the one who doesn't seem to care about it and keep the other two together for a week or so and then bring them all back together?

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