Introducing new chicken/s

Birdwithoutwings

New member
Messages
5
Hello, I am sure this has been discussed before but couldn't find a recent thread. I was gifted 2 chickens from someone local moving away. I already had 2 chickens and a cockerel in a large open orchard area. Lots of space. I put the 2 new chickens in a separate coop with run inside the orchard. They have had 4 weeks isolation but can see the other hens. I had to deworm and demite both and one had a respiratory infection which has since cleared up. I let them out under supervision and one was jumped on by both hens and cockerel and ran back in her coop. She sadly died the next morning, I think either egg bound or egg broken inside her from the attack. Now I am left with one chicken on her own to introduce. So last night I moved the 2 resident chickens into the coop and the new one into the orchard and large hen house with the cockerel. I thought she would fare better with just the cockerel to contend with. So far it's not looking great. She has had feathers pulled out from the cockerels attentions and a bleeding beak. Do I persevere or separate the cockerel too? I cannot see a happy ending to this. I'm not sure what else to do as very hard introducing one hen to a flock. Any suggestions?
 

Marigold

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8,053
Location
Hampshire, U.K.
You’ve done everything right, but I’m afraid the results were predictable!
You had to tackle the problems of worms, parasites and bronchial infection which only too often come when ‘rescuing’ birds from another flock, and the fact that this two had all those problems may indicate lack of knowledgeable care in their previous home. The bronchial infection is the most worrying, I think, because it can become endemic in your own previously healthy flock, and would be likely to re-emerge, even if it has died down at present.
It’s always difficult to integrate small numbers of birds to a small flock like yours, even with such good care and conditions as you’ve offered them. You didn’t say how old they are - if they’re hybrids, and older than two years, it is probable that they won’t lay with any regularity and will in any case become prone to egg laying problems such as prolapse and eggbinding within a fairly short time. Since one of them has actually died, and the other one is injured and there seems no prospect of the other one living a happy life with your cockerel and his pair of hens, it might be kindest to cull the remaining, injured bird and let things revert to the previous arrangements. You’ve done your best, and whilst I can understand your wish to support your friend by rehoming these two, I don’t think you need to feel you’ve let him down.
 

bigyetiman

Well-known member
Messages
2,238
I agree with Marigold, it is not a pleasant route to take, but with one hen it can be the kindest option.
 

bigyetiman

Well-known member
Messages
2,238
It's not easy, a downside to chicken keeping

My neighbour bought a flock of hens, all raised together, and for some reason, they decided en masse they didn't like one hen, and bullied her, so she had to be removed from the coop.

She became known as "cluck, cluck" and lived very happily with Charlie the farmyard goose, in and around the lambing shed, she slept safely at night in a little pen made for her in the shed
 
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