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Introducing 1 shy chicken to 4 loud girls...help!

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Hi everyone, it's been ages since I posted, things have been ticking along nicely and I've still been keeping up with the forum!


Anyway, the other day one of our neighbours found a chicken. we asked all up and down the street was it anyone's? No. We assume she has come from Staveleys Egg Farm nearby (barn eggs - but we've not heard nice stories about them - chooks are always escaping) so I said we'd look after her :roll::roll:


I've kept her in a separate cage during the last 2 days and put her in with the girls at about 8pm - they are all really going for her, it's horrid - DH keeps going out and swatting (gently though!) at the big girls to stop them, not sure this a good idea :shock:


How long will this last? The new chook is so shy and small next to the big girls, and we've found she's very tame - at last a tame chicken :D - I hate to see her getting pecked at...... any ideas?



S x

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It will pass eventually.


It is always a bit tricky introducing one to an established group.


Put extra food and water bowls out so that they can't stop her from eating and drinking, and have a powerful water pistol or hose handy to blast them when they pick on her.

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I've just introduced a new younger chicken to an established group already laying, not an expert by a long chalk but here are some of the tactics that helped me-

Letting them free-range together with extra food/waterbowls out.

Encouraging newchook to come join in treats time by scattering corn around widely so they got used to her eating with them.

Covering the back of her head and neck in Tee Tree Oil (see my 'update' thread on what happens to bullies when you do that).

I removed the worst offender during the day for a couple of days.

And yes, to a certain extent you have to let them get on with it. Get some Purple Spray from your local horsey shop and only intervene if there is blood.

Best of luck!

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Hi Sarah,


I introduced a new girl recently. It took 8 days to all settle down (and it felt like longer). My original 3 all pinned her down together and pulled out loads of feathers in a few seconds, horrid to watch. So in the day, when I was at work, I didn't want to come back to a bald chicken, so I put her in my childrens wendy house and left the others in the run.


Once I got home in the afternoon, I let them free range together. They still went for her, but I didn't clip her wings and she could fly away from the others onto the garden chairs that I had placed at intervals around the lawn. Then at night, I did what you are doing, I popped her in through the eggport.


All the really nasty pecking stopped after 8 days. But it has taken until only this week for them to let Stella eat from the treats bowl without chasing her off. Normal pellets were fine but they didn't want her to have their treats at first, but they are all 1 flock now. Very occasionally they give her a peck to remind her she is at the bottom of the pecking order.

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Thanks everyone for your replies, it helps to know that Mabel and I aren't the only ones going through it.... I have been letting them free range for the last 3 days but today I have to leave them all together in the pen for the first time. I put them all in earlier on so that I can make sure it won't be too awful, before I leave for work... I can already hear squawking on and off.


there is a waist-high shelf in our pen which we never got round to making a ladder to and I've put food and water up there - we haven't clipped Mabels wings yet and she is very good at jumping so hopefully she'll take refuge up there if it's too bad, or in the Eglu.


I hope I'm doing the right thing leaving them all together.



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Well, Friday night, I can report it's all going well... Big thanks to Hen Watch for telling me her chicks settled down after 8 days, it's hard to wait so long without some reassurance that things would settle down at all... Tonight when I went out to tuck them in and lock the door, all 5 were in together, I didn't have to go round the garden looking under bushes for stray randomly-roosting-chooks-who-didn't-quite-fancy-the-company, hurray!


Thanks for your support & advice!

S xx

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