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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...introducing just.one.hen. I feel so bad for our new girl, but I had no choice. I had to replace my rooster, and can't keep more than 3 chickens in my area. She's not getting pecked as they are separated and a few times she's hopped the fence to investigate but flies right back over. Right now I am in the yard with them and she is just off by herself. The old flock of two are buddies and the newbie is all alone. Furthermore, another sin I've committed was not quarantining the newbie. Do I really need to if they all came from the same ranch just a short 40 min from my home? Ahh, so much to learn.
 

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The general rule is yes to quarantine. But if you got the originals from the same place and you REALLY trust the people, some rules can be broken. I am not recommending this to anyone but sometimes you do what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Yes, same ranch/breeder and only 2 weeks had past since bringing the original flock home. I know a lot can change in two weeks, I wasn't thinking. So much will be done differently next time. For what it's worth, the breeder won't let anyone into his chicken area. He brings a selection of chickens to the front of the ranch for you to pick from as he doesn't want anyone's shoes near his flock (who knows what is on them, I guess). He seems pretty legit in the care and health of his birds. Fingers crossed!
 

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Quarantine is always a good idea - you just don't know if he brought in any new birds or had any outbreaks during those two weeks, you know? That being said you're probably fine and it's a little late now but you'll know next time. Don't fret too much. I tried to introduce two hens to two other hens and the most dominant hen in each pair made it impossible. They HATED each other. Eventually had to take one of the two dominant ones out of the group but the good news is that I got three out of the four getting along! Took me about four months.... SIGH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
WeeLittleChicken said:
Quarantine is always a good idea - you just don't know if he brought in any new birds or had any outbreaks during those two weeks, you know? That being said you're probably fine and it's a little late now but you'll know next time. Don't fret too much. I tried to introduce two hens to two other hens and the most dominant hen in each pair made it impossible. They HATED each other. Eventually had to take one of the two dominant ones out of the group but the good news is that I got three out of the four getting along! Took me about four months.... SIGH.
Ahhh, I can't imagine, but this might be the case. The BR was the lowest in the order but now that I've gotten rid of the roo, she's queen bee! The RIR doesn't care too much about anything and the newbie, an australorp, is so shy. She hasn't warmed up to me or the others. But today I caught her digging a nice Nat for herself in the shady dirt and looking quite comfy in her new surroundings. I'll get it one of these days. Thanks for your words :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really need some help here. I know I screwed up with only getting ONE new chicken, but I had no choice. Now, she is miserable. I'm doing the separation thing but she wants to be with the others. Today I sat in the yard with them and removed the separation gate. The two originals charged at her and pecked her, and she hid from them. They went on their marry way and the newbie was all alone. Will they ever accept her as part of the flock or will she always be a loaner? My coop and attached run are small, I hate keeping her apart in such a small space.

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The left most compartment of the attached run is wired off for the newbie. I have a roost bar and a milk crate with pine shavings in there for her. She's got food and water (which she has dumped twice, trying to find a way out and I've had to bail out wet sand and put dry in, two nights in a row).

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This is there yard. It's about 60x5' and i have it divided off one half for Miss Kay, the newbie and half for the other two. Should I just take down the divide all together and get on with it or is this separation the best thing, even though Miss Kay seems to just hate life here. I know I'm being impatient, we only got her on Wednesday. I just want her in the coop with the others, the nights are windy and we've put some boards up as protection, but it's not much. She forages a lot and catches bugs better than the others, but I've not really seen Her eat or drink much and it's been so hot here. I just want a happy flock and right now, I'm do sad for Miss Kay. Those big brown Australorp eyes don't help much. Sorry this is so long, I'm having a rough time with this.
 

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If I were you, I would quit saving her. Let them work it out. What you are doing now is multiple traumatic experiences instead of one long one. They will figure it out or else. No sense in dragging out the experience. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Circle_U_Farm said:
If I were you, I would quit saving her. Let them work it out. What you are doing now is multiple traumatic experiences instead of one long one. They will figure it out or else. No sense in dragging out the experience. Just my opinion.
Thanks for your thoughts. I've been told so many different things with regard to separation. I tend to agree with you at this point.
 

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I'm new to this so I could be wrong but I've heard it said that if you go in at night and put the new chicken on the roost with others that they will accept her easier. Like I said I'm new but I know someone it worked for.
 

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Just tossing this out. Watch them and figure out who is the most aggressive. Take HER and put her in a pen by herself and let the other two wander around together. Allow her to go with them at night, but put her back into her own pen during the day. Try that for four days or so and then let them together again and see what happens.

Sometimes taking the top one down a little will help. It's something to try anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The new chicken is ranging with the originals but isn't really eating or drinking. I just dipped her beak and she took a bit of water. Will she take it when she needs it or is she just to scared and will waste away?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This poor chicken is being chased out of the roost and keeps pacing, pecking at the wire trying to escape. She hates it here. Do I take her back and just have the two hens, or do I give this more time? She's only been with us 3 days. Will she stress herself to death by then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I will pen the mean one, that's a good idea. It's interesting as the new "meanie" was the lowest ranking chicken when we had the rooster.
 

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I think it is up to the chickens.
She'll probably get along fine after a few days together.
I wouldn't fret over it.
An "over-protective" Parent is not good for human children, either.
Observe...but let them LEARN. She'll make her place.

just one opinion....:)
-ReTIRED-
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ReTIRED said:
I think it is up to the chickens.
She'll probably get along fine after a few days together.
I wouldn't fret over it.
An "over-protective" Parent is not good for human children, either.
Observe...but let them LEARN. She'll make her place.

just one opinion....:)
-ReTIRED-
True, I tend to be a bit over protective with my two yr old as well, and he seems no worse for wear if I slip up. I guess because I know nothing about chickens I'm unsure about their behaviors, and don't know what sort of stress could kill them :( I went to the coop to see how they were doing and after about 40 min of chasing poor Miss Kay in and out of the roosting house, they finally allowed for her to settle into and nesting box...I'll take it! It's progress, right? I'll try not to worry about her but she isn't eating much and just seems so freaked out. Survival of the fittest I guess and she didn't give up and sleep in the run so I'm guessing there is some fight in her. I really appreciate all the advice, it's tough being a new chicken mom.
 

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Hi! 1st of all...I'm sooo sorry for ur bad experience! It's awful when u get attached to animals isn't it? Anyway, I have the same problem with some of my chickens! I had an original flock of 1 Auracauna & a baby Bantam Sablepoot she adopted, 1 Production Red & 1 Dominique. They got along just fine & "Mama" the Auracauna was the head of the pack & still is & she's the oldest! But once she was done being a mother to that baby, she was done! The baby was a teenager & taught everything by then anyway, but still wanted to sleep under Mama's wing @ night & eat what she scratched up. Mama wasn't havin' any of that! She started chasing her off with a few pecks, then more pecks & screeching! So now "Blondie" the baby Sablepoot bows everytime before she's gonna get pecked & sometimes Mama doesn't peck when she bows. All the chickens do it, they do it with me too, so I can pet them. They kind of scrunch down a little with their wings partially up @ the shoulders. My point is that they will work it out. If they make her bleed? That's when u need to find her a good home. I also bought baby chicks @ The Backyard Farmer & they got chased around & pecked until the pecking order was established. But u do have to keep them separated until their big enough to hold their own, ya know? I would like to know if the ladies idea about separating the mean one for awhile works though? Good luck & chilax! ")
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^^^thank you for sharing your story. It's nice to know this just happens to be the way of it with chickens. So Dorothy (the meanie) has been penned up all day and Miss Kay and my RIR, Peggy, got to share the yard. Peggy doesn't seem to give a hoot unless Dorothy is around, it's like she feels the need to be Dorothy's back up or "wing-woman" as it were. Miss Kay still isn't eating much, but she's not being pecked or chased. I'm going to let Dorothy out later and see what happens. I just hope they get over it all soon. Thanks again for your thoughts and experiences.
 
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