reintroducing hen..will the rest of them kill her?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread
and thank you for your supportive answers about family that doesn't get it!
I'm very new to poultry...we got our 8 hens and a rooster toward the end of November. Am really enjoying them. The littlest one (and she is a very little hen, a wyandotte and much smaller than the other hens) became sick about a week after getting them here. We isolated her immediately and have had her out during the day and in at night. Well it appears she's gotten better...no more runny eyes, no more wheezing, and she's eating and drinking normally and acting feistier. So we tried to introduce her back into the flock yesterday and they ALL immediately went after her. They didn't do this to her when they were all together before. Are they going to kill her or is this worse than it looks? We took her right out of there..didn't know what to do until I talk to some more experienced people. I'm a real novice here. Will gradual introductions do it or will she never be able to be with the flock again?
Getting these chickens was a real biggie for me. Feels more like homesteading, even though we are big time gardeners. They're the first livestock we've had together.
thanks for any advice!
-- Cat (email@example.com), December 08, 2001
Oops..I meant that we got the birds at the end of October. The little one has been isolated from the flock a couple weeks now.
-- Cat (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 2001.
I had a similar problem. I had one hen who would not stay in the fenced in garden so I stuck her back in the coup alone. When the others had just about finished scratching everything up I wanted to put her back in there with them so I could clean the coup before putting them all back in for the winter. I had to go rescue her and put her back in the coup then I started moving them over one by one during the day until I had them all in the coup together. It worked for me and they have all been together for the last week or so with no problems. Good luck
-- LaDena,Tx zone 9 (email@example.com), December 08, 2001.
We also integrated the last bunch of chickens by putting the smaller ones in the coop first, then adding the larger ones one at a time (over a few days.) We were surprised and relieved not to have any major problems integrating the birds. They had been across a fence from each other for some time before we moved them into the barn... Is there an area you can put her where they can see each other through a fence for a few days? Another way we sometimes do it is to add the new chicken at night. You'd want to check on them first thing in the morning to see how it's working.
-- mary (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 2001.
The quickest and easiest way is to put her in at night, when it is dark and no one can see what's going on. In the morning, she will be just one of the gang. After raising chickens for many years, I'm absolutely sure they wake up in a whole new world every morning. On another note, being so small, she may always be the bottom hen on the pecking order. It's real, not just an old wives' tale.
-- melina b. (email@example.com), December 08, 2001.
Hi Cat, I would put the new bird in at night and give the flock some unusual treats for a couple of days to keep them busy. :o) Kitchen scraps, an extra scoop of grain, a pumpkin or beet or something to peck at and keep busy. I harvested my brussel sprouts and tossed the remainder plant in with the birds, etc. Anything to keep the bossy ones busy. notnow
-- notnow (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 08, 2001.
That is what we do also, introduce new or sick (and now recovered) hens at night. We have never had any trouble this way. But chickens really do go after the weaker ones. Since mine free-range it is not too bad, as they can keep away from each other, but if they are penned up they do seem to get bored and more aggressive. Just my humble opinion!
-- Melissa (email@example.com), December 08, 2001.