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New hen.

Posted by Lynn&Ron Bailey - Created: 3 years ago
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2 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 2)

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Posted by kathyd2 - 3 years ago

I made the mistake of getting a single hen too at one time - I was told later that you always introduce new birds in pairs so they have someone to share the bullying with, and to keep them company whilst you separate them.  Any chance you could get another one from the same place really quickly, so the new one would still remember her? 

They do need separating at first, partly as a quarantine to make sure the newbie isn't bringing anything nasty with them, but mostly to let them get used to each other as Judi says.  I was also advised about adding them at night after they've all gone to sleep, although I've  not tried that one personally. 

When you do mix them together try to make sure there's somewhere safe for the newbie to run to and hide, and make sure it has a way in and a way out so she can escape if the others try to trap her.  And make sure she's being allowed to eat and drink - mine often try to drive the newcomers away from food and water - but avoid being seen to give her 'treats' or too much special attention! (worse than kids aren't they?!)

If one of your birds is being a bigger bully than the others, you could try separating the bully rather than the new one, again behind wire so they can all see each other.  Allow her back in after a day or two and remove again if she starts to bully again.  You may find the worst bullies are the ones at the bottom of the existing pecking order - they feel they have the most to lose when someone new arrives.


Let us know how you get on?


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Posted by Judi B-602411 - 3 years ago

You have to get into chicken-psychology so... you need to seperate them, at least during the day, but with just a wire partition between them, that way they get used to each other but don't realise that they're not truly together!  Start by putting her into their territory for a week then add them to her one at a time, if the bullying continues start again and leave it longer! You can keep them together at night if you just pop her in whilst they're roosting. Often adding a new bird during the night, once everyone is roosting, is the easiest way to introduce a new hen as they wake up together and assume they've always been together!  

The problem is that you have added a "stranger" to their territory and they're telling her it's their territory! Somehow you must give her some power, hence letting her have their territory to herself but being able to see the others and then letting them in to join her! Hope this doesn't sound too complicated but you can't leave her to be pecked. Removing her and adding her during the night might still work but maybe now that they've met and bullyed her, it is too late for that! 

Good luck!