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My Rescue Hen - Final Update - Last Page: She's met the girls

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  • My Rescue Hen - Final Update - Last Page: She's met the girls

    A neighbor spotted my mini-flock (4 hens) out on my lawn and stopped to ask if I wanted another.
    Sucker that I am, I said yes, and he brought over a pretty little red & black hen.
    He has a bird dog that just would not lose interest.

    Looks like someone kept this girl in a too-small cage as both beak & claws were waaaay overgrown.
    Easily remedied by clipping, but she has a crooked toe and walks kind of hunched. Both of which made me name her Quasi (Kwazi?)
    Hopefully the trim and sufficient space may fix both problems.
    She is not in bad shape otherwise - good feathering, no visible or obvious parasites.
    She is also underweight, but the patented 2 Dogs Farm Diet of scrambled egg, oatmeal & yogurt (along with 16% layer pellets) should fix that.

    I tried setting her out in my fenced yard with the other girls and Boss Hen & 2nd in Command both pecked at her. No blood drawn so I'll repeat the experiment today.
    Right now she's in a fenced-off section of the coop so they can see each other.

    Any suggestions for integrating the newbie?
    Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Apr. 17, 2013, 10:53 AM.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    Remember the old adage, "pecking order"? The one we horse folks use when the newby gets beat up whilst trying to find it's place in the herd? Well, chickens invented it and make equine hatefulness look like a cake walk.

    This is how I would introduce your new bird (our flock is into the 20s at this point w/a rooster - a very nice rooster - we've added new birds periodically, adults, youth, and chicks hatched by our broody hens, but the broody hen usually handles those introductions ):

    Create a little paddock area for the new girl and let her stay there in sight of the other birds for a day. Day 2, put new girl in her paddock and at some point add your calmest, quietest, most amiable hen. Leave them together for 1-2 days. Day 3 - reverse the situation and put the new girl and the calm girl in the regular chicken area (where ever that may be) and the other 3 birds in the new chicken paddock - do this for Day 3 & 4. On the evening of Day 4 once the birds are roosting, have all the birds roosting in the same shelter. When they wake up on Day 5, they will likely all go outside and be fine together, with minimal issues.

    You can also just switch them from the get go - new bird in regular chicken yard; old birds in new chicken paddock; then introduce the old birds back into their old chicken yard, one by one, day by day until everyone is together.

    If your few birds are pretty calm, you might even just try putting the new girl on the roost once its dark and see if they will accept her the next morning without having to go through all the day 1,2, stuff.

    FWIW - several of our Ameraucanas had/have whacky crooked toes...like they walked on the outside of those toes, the rest of the foot was normal. It never slowed them down.

    Congrats on your new foundling! And good luck - sending vibes for quiet chicken meet & greet!

    eta: another chickenmatch.com option!

    Comment


    • #3
      Any way you can set up a small coop or "coop" in with the other hens so they can see her for a while? Any way you can get another 'rescue" hen to give this girl a companion, put them together for a bit, then one night after dark and they've gone to roost, stick the 2 of them into the coop with the other girls?
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


      • #4
        We always just added newbies at night, after they've gone to roost. If they all wake up together they seem to do better.
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Finzean View Post
          Remember the old adage, "pecking order"? The one we horse folks use when the newby gets beat up whilst trying to find it's place in the herd? Well, chickens invented it and make equine hatefulness look like a cake walk.

          This is how I would introduce your new bird (our flock is into the 20s at this point w/a rooster - a very nice rooster - we've added new birds periodically, adults, youth, and chicks hatched by our broody hens, but the broody hen usually handles those introductions ):

          Create a little paddock area for the new girl and let her stay there in sight of the other birds for a day. Day 2, put new girl in her paddock and at some point add your calmest, quietest, most amiable hen. Leave them together for 1-2 days. Day 3 - reverse the situation and put the new girl and the calm girl in the regular chicken area (where ever that may be) and the other 3 birds in the new chicken paddock - do this for Day 3 & 4. On the evening of Day 4 once the birds are roosting, have all the birds roosting in the same shelter. When they wake up on Day 5, they will likely all go outside and be fine together, with minimal issues.

          You can also just switch them from the get go - new bird in regular chicken yard; old birds in new chicken paddock; then introduce the old birds back into their old chicken yard, one by one, day by day until everyone is together.

          If your few birds are pretty calm, you might even just try putting the new girl on the roost once its dark and see if they will accept her the next morning without having to go through all the day 1,2, stuff.

          FWIW - several of our Ameraucanas had/have whacky crooked toes...like they walked on the outside of those toes, the rest of the foot was normal. It never slowed them down.

          Congrats on your new foundling! And good luck - sending vibes for quiet chicken meet & greet!

          eta: another chickenmatch.com option!
          Many dittos!! We always tried to introduce new single birds after getting them used to a single buddy first. There was far less stress & bloodshed when the newcomer felt she wasn't completely on her own. And final introductions were always done after dark in the coop - although do make sure to be out there asap to let them out the next morning to help avoid confined fisticuffs.

          Comment


          • #6
            To me, putting them in at night just delays altercations until morning, in confinement with no help from people. Do you have a large dog crate that you could put her in and place the crate in the chicken yard/coop? Meeting through the crate should be a little better and she could get away from harm. Good luck and I hope she integrates quickly!
            I LOVE my Chickens!

            Comment


            • #7
              I do the night thing. So far no fights. The last ones were very small banties in the coop with regular-sized hens and banties that were not as little as the new ones. This works with hens, not roosters if you already have a rooster. The little banties fit right in and I've seen them boss the big girls. The roosters? My big rooster never did accept the little rooster that came with the hens so I had to find him a new home.

              I free range mine so maybe that makes a difference.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've had hundreds of chickens over the last 20 years or so and putting them in at night has always worked just fine. I don't spend an over amount of time fussing over my chickens but I have yet to have them kill or do more than fuss at another chicken. It's not like it's a pack of pit bulls-they'll get along fine in a couple days without a lot of hand-holding.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Rescue Hen - See P.2 She's not eating : (

                  Sounds like I'm on the right track

                  New Girl is in the fenced yard today while the other girls are free-ranging.
                  She does not seem to know what to do with all that space and is hanging near the door to the coop. She is walking a bit better but that crooked toe may be permanent.
                  It's a nice day and she has food & water, so she can just figure it out.

                  Finzean: interesting. Her coloring is right for an Ameraucana, but she has no muff or beard. Maybe too young for that?

                  Last evening I fenced off part of the indoor coop and gave her a rubbermaid bin (on its side) with shavings for her to hide in along with her own food & water.
                  Once they were all in for the night there were no further attacks, they pretty much ignored her while she observed from shelter & behind her chickenwire barrier.

                  My youngest hen - who was introduced as a day-old chick along with her rooster brother almost 3 years ago - seems to be trying to be friendly. Clucking softly through the wire.

                  I no longer have the rooster - lost him and 2 other hens to a fox last Fall.
                  So freeranging is now limited to when I'm home.
                  I know - not really a predator-proof measure, but so far, so good.

                  Tomorrow I'll keep Quasi in her shelter as the hens spend the day in their fenced yard with access to the coop.
                  And tomorrow night I'll try the Everyone Roost Together, Sing Kumbaya.
                  Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Apr. 15, 2013, 11:36 AM. Reason: Update
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    They'll do fine! She's lucky to have you and soon she and her sister-hens will be one big family!
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Put the young hen in with the newbie - she's most likely to take to her since she is young.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OP Thank you so much for making room at your farm for this chicken. I am so glad for her that she now has you.
                        As far as intergration I am one of those hand holder people that are scorned. I dont believe in letting them fight it out. I believe in controlled monitored intergration. Yes I am a control freak of epic proportions. I am so bad even my horse herds are kept as small as posible on as much acerage as possible, so there is little or no rescource gaurding as possible. I believe in the meet and greet thru the bars or fence method. Any way you go about it I am sure you will do whats best for this poor little hen. Good luck and congrats on your new pet.
                        Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Scorned" is a strong word... I just think it doesn't need to be as complicated as people recommend it to be. Maybe you and I are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum and somewhere in between is where the OP wants to be.
                          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You can make a splint for the crooked toe and see if it will straighten out. We did it with a bluejay and it worked. You can glue the splint onto the toe and see if that will straighten it out. As the glue wears off and the splint disintegrates, the toe should straighten.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Put her in the coop at night. THey others will wake up in the AM and not even notice a newbie.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by casper324 View Post
                                Put her in the coop at night. THey others will wake up in the AM and not even notice a newbie.
                                Oh, they'll notice. Chickens aren't as dumb as most people think. Particularly regarding small-flock dynamics.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yes, they notice, when it gets light.

                                  I've done this. It wasn't horrible. Yes, the resident girls (6-7? months) picked on the new girls (3? months) for several weeks, but it was nothing more than chasing them out of the flock. Yes, the new girls huddled together in their own corner in the coop. Yes, they went their separate way every morning. No, there was never any blood. Yes, they figured it out and in a couple of months they were all one big flock.

                                  I wouldn't wanted to have done that with 1 newbie. So, if you can put that youngest hen in with her so they're at least a friendly pair, that will be helpful
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Also, considering this chicken has a bit of a handicap, she is going to need extra help with integration as she will be a very easy target for awhile. Just tossing her in to find her own will not be good for her. Good luck OP.
                                    I LOVE my Chickens!

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Hmmmmm...
                                      I may try fencing off part of the fenced yard and putting Newbie out there today.
                                      Forecast today is warmish (60) and no rain but I can make sure her "paddock" is under shelter in case that changes.

                                      I've put hay out all Winter for the girls to scratch & pick through, so I can make her a nest from that or put out a new flake.

                                      I'm somewhere between overprotective and let 'em be - same way I treat all my livestock.
                                      Usually more on the non-hovering side.

                                      Any guesses on breed?
                                      No earmuffs or beard a la classic Ameraucana. So what else has the mottled red/black feathering?
                                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If you have a wire cage, put her in that so they're 'together' but they can't get her.
                                        Fresh, Frozen & ISO Warmblood Breedings FB Group

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