Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

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Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby Higgs » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:54 pm

Hello everyone,

4 years ago we got ourself 3 pekin bantams at about 10 weeks old, sadly today the second bantam died leaving only one behind.

We're not sure where to go from here with regards to either getting a couple of new chooks or leaving the last bantam by herself. I've heard that chickens generally prefer not to be alone so at the moment I'm leaning slightly more towards the idea of getting 2 young bantams and gradually introducing them to the older hen, but having never done such a thing before I'm a bit lost.

Any advice on the best thing to do for the last remaining bantam would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby karminski » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:21 pm

if you can get some more girls that are roughly the same age that will be fine , you can sperate them for about 2 weeks but of curse do it so that they can see each other then introduce them to each other last thing at night as they are roosting then you shouldnt have much trouble although they will probably have the odd fight just to sort out the pecking order but your doing the right thing by already thinking of getting some more :D are you able to house more then 3 birds maybe it might work out better to have 5 or 6 birds .
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby BabyBantam » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:28 pm

OK, another thought (from my step daughters experience).
They lost all but 1 chook to a badger, so "Martha" moved into the kitchen and took the humans as her flock rather than other chickens. She lived quite happily with the family for another 6 months - not sure how or why she died in the end?
I may be in the same situation as you at some point, as only got 2 pekin bantams left. Will be interested to see what others say!
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby chrismahon » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:51 pm

We have house chickens, but they are a bit messy as they can't be house trained, if you are OK with that Higgs. I certainly wouldn't leave her on her own. Either into the house until the others arrived or into the house and then rehomed. Rehoming is difficult because you are introducing one lonely new hen. The stress may be too much for her at that age.
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby foxy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:32 pm

Chickens are fundamentally flock animals. They prefer company as their natural environment even though the integration process can be a bit stressful at times, if the process is managed slowly and carefully it should conclude well.
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby Higgs » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:38 pm

Thanks for your responses so far everyone,

Karminski, you mentioned about introducing hens of a similar age. Is this the only appropriate way to go when introducing hens? I say this because I was also considering getting some relatively young bantams (10 weeks ish), keeping them indoors until they're a little older and then introducing them to the older chicken, or would the age difference make this too difficult?

Babybantam and Chris, I love the thought of keeping the chicken in the house with us but I don't think it would suit her. She's always been a bit shy around people and I don't think the rest of the family would appreciate the mess! I agree with you about rehoming, she's been with us for so long we really wouldn't want to move her on now. She's also been bottom of the pecking order from the beginning as well.

So it seems 2 more chooks is the way to go (don't want to have more than 3 overall), it's just a question of whether to find ones of a similar age or get younger chickens. The family like the idea of going back to where we got the originals to pick out some young chooks, but introducing them to a much older hen may not be good, I've no idea.

Sorry to go on but could I confirm whether the older hen should be sleeping in the Eglu outside or in the house while she's by herself? Chris has recommended in the house for now but I'm not sure if she should be taken out of her usual routine?

Thanks again everyone.
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby tygrysek75 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:07 pm

Does she broody somtimes?If yes I would give her eggs to hatch then problem of integration of new chickens would be avoided alltogether as her chicks would be her flock eventually:)
The older I get the older old is.
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby karminski » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:04 am

you could maybe still try a few younger birds but still keep them seprated for a few weeks ,wether you get older or younger birds they will fight a bit as said before to sort out the pecking order but that may not happen as its different for everyone i suppose mainly depending on thier set up .i took on 7 ex batts a few years ago and already had about 15 and when i took away the sepration fence there was one fight but that was all maybe i was lucky that it went smoothly .

at 10 weeks if the birds have good feathering they should be ok to stay outside i put my polish out at 7-8 weeks and they were fine .
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Re: Only one chicken left, not sure what to do.

Postby chrismahon » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:58 pm

I'd get two young birds, say 16 -18 weeks. She would be in charge and love it.
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