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Small Farmer
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I just lost one of my two hens and the one that survived looked lonely so I went and bought a couple dozen new hatchlings. Does anyone know if I can put my 1 year old hen in with the new ones? will she hurt them? or will she take care of them? Any experience on the matter would be helpful. I was hoping she would adopt the new flock.:)
 

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Every time I get new chicks, the older ones pick at them, especially my Dominique. I have found that if I put the new chicks in a coop right next to the henhouse, with only wire between them, the hens get used to seeing the small chicks. After they have been "neighbors" for a month or so, I let them out together ( my birds free-range during the day, and go into the coop at night )- sometimes they still pick on the younger ones, but they do have to establish the "pecking order". Once they are out together for awhile, they will adjust. I don't let small chicks out on their own- if I buy chicks (biddies), they have to be fully feathered and at least 2/3 the size of the other hens before I let them out together, to prevent hawks and eagles from getting them. I only have one rooster, and he watches out for them right away. It's like he knows that they may be future mates! I love my birds, and I have an assortment of breeds- I collect the eggs to eat and sell, so that I don't have too may cross-bred birds, but sometimes my Leghorn gets broody and I let her hatch a few chicks. I WANT SOME MARANS!!! I can't find them to order unless they are straight run, and I don't want the roosters to fight, so I'd prefer pullets or hens. I also love the Olive Eggers! Chickens are beautiful birds, and they all have a different personality. I can spend hours just watching and listening to them. Yeah, ok, I'm a bit crazy about my chickens! Good luck with yours!
 
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