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Is it too late to add another chicken?

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I started off with 3 chickens and within a day of having them I ended up with 2. I'm totally in love with them to the point my husband and kids don't get a look in. :) I've been wanting to get another one but am worried the others will be annoyed. Do you think I could get away with it? :? My chickens are about 20 weeks old and not laying yet. What do you reckon? :lol::D

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hmmm, i dont actually keep chickens my self, but have read quite a few books and read forums such as this one. have they established the pecking order yet? if so there will be more bullying. also have you considerd maybe getting two more because then they will stand more chance of not getting bullied too badly.

basicly i think you should just get two more!

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Hi Sarah,

If you want more, do it now rather than later. I got 4 chickens from Omlet and within 2 weeks one had died. I decided to go for another one rather than stick to the remaining 3 and we went off and sourced one ourselves. Choosing one from a breeder/agent was great fun and it was surprising that with only a few weeks of chicken keeping experience behind me, I knew what I was looking for (in terms of perky chicken etc.) and felt confident choosing.

 

The pecking order that followed was difficult to watch but not unexpected as I had seen lots of posts on this forum on the subject. I had to split them up in the day but put them together in the eglu at night. It took 8 days to sort itself out and "Stella" the new chook is definately at the bottom of the pecking order. But I would not be without her now. The differences in character of my 4 chooks (3 different hybrid breeds) are great.

 

So I would say, go for it.

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OH. Your supposed to help me. :) My husbands going to ban me from this computer if we end up with more chickens. :( I'm not sure my garden will handle 2 more. It's not very big. :cry: Even though I reckon I could fit another eglu in. I'll have to move the kids playhouse though. :lol::? What do you think?

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Oh. So what's the best thing to do? :? I was thinking that would pick up a new hen at tea time then put her in the eglu when it's very dark outside. Kind of hoping that the other 2 won't notice. Do you reckon it would work? :) And get an extension too if it fits. Need to do some measuring.

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if you did move the wendy house then your chooks would be happier and you kids will learn more about nature and how to look after things (all very important) you could always buy them another one to go in there room or something. Hen Watch also has a point so i wold just think about it.

(can i just add that your kids will grow out of there wendy house, but will love there chooks forever) you know what my vote is!

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I put my new hen in through the eggport and they all slept together at night. Just the daytime they fought. Some on here wisely say let them fight it out, but I was "chicken" (if I can say that) and kept them apart in the day unless they were free ranging. My kids did get their Wendy House back after 8 days though.....

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my husband said yes to more chickens! :lol: I'm so excited. But I'm not sure I could cope with the new one being picked on. :cry: Does anyone know if it makes a difference if you introduce a new one before the other 2 start laying? Will it be easier or should I wait? :?

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I would do it whilst they are still young myself and would get two, that way its not the same one getting picked on all the time. :wink: Make sure you have plenty of food and water stops for them as well - the boss chicken cant be at them all at hte same time and the new ones will be able to eat and drink.

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Adding two is definitely much easier but I did add one once and did not have much trouble. I always pop them in at night. Because I now have 2 houses I am introducing slowly and just letting them see each other and then I will actually put them together one night but maybe still separate them during the day. Sometimes adding new chickens goes really easily but I know that the older ones I have now are really full of themselves (especially my Miss Pepperpot) and hate the idea of watching the youngsters being bullied. :cry: I hope you get your new girls and it all goes really well. Enjoy! Any problems will soon be sorted. :wink:

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Hi all

 

Been reading with great interest at introducing new chicks. We have done this several times and although at times it seemed very bad things did sort themselves out but not the last time. Got 2 new chicks about 2 months ago, did all the normal things such as put them in at night together and keep an eye on things during the day. After 3 weeks thought we were there as they seemed OK, went out to lock them in and one of the newbies (Kitty) had her head wedged between the fence and wall. I thought she was dead but when I coaxed her out the back of her neck had been pecked so bad that my husband bless him had to put stitches in (no he is not a vet). It was 10pm at night and was the only option to save her. Well at the moment she would not win any prizes for her looks but has healed nicely. Problem is I am terrified of leaving her with the others. I know who the culprit is (she was the mildest at one time) and I have isolated her but as soon as she sees Kitty off she goes!!! We are now going to have to have another run built as I am keeping the newbies in the small shed but with all this horrible rain it has been a nightmare. Spent £20 on anti pecking spray which does work but I have to keep spraying them as it is the taste and smell that is horrible. So you just never know if they are going to settle down or not, this is the worse I have known but I am trying not to let it put me off introducing newbies. I did think about a bumper thingy if anyone knows where I can buy them.

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Thanks for all the tips :D I spoke to Jan at Omelet yesterday and after being offered a 8 week old chick cockerel. And having some replies about that. We decided to say no to the chick. :( I don't think my neighbours would appreciate it. After along talk with my husband, we decided on a Bluebelle or Amber. So we went today to have a look, but we fell in love with a Brown Nick. Which the children have named Toffee. She's in the run at the moment while the other 2 are free ranging so fingers crossed for tonight. :?

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Good Luck Sarah,

 

I hope it doesn't get too ugly.

 

Ours have all settled down now but it was full on fisty cuffs for a week or so.

They even ganged up on a whites v browns basis. If we'd known we'd have got three white and three brown instead of four and two :roll:

 

Kev.

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So far not very good, Well not too bad I'm just a wimp. :cry: What shall I do? Do I need to get a bumper bit or anti pecking spray? Or shall I let them free range all together or should I lock up the new one in the run in the day? She's very fast actually. HELP. When do I get the water pistol out and shot Polly? That's the bully or boss. Depends on how you want to look at it. :(

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They'll be Ok,

 

It does look worse than it is, ours fighting was just handbags really as they were all new with no established top chook.

 

From what other people have said they'll be fine unless there any blood drawn, then you should seperate them.

 

Try not to worry they'll be friends soon!

 

Kev.

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Thanks couperman. It's the blood thing I'm worried about. I've calmed down now I think. :? I'll leave them to it tomorrow. The other two used to peck at each other. When they first came. Do you reckon it's alright to let the new one free range tomorrow? or shall I keep her in the run?

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I no expert!, Ours have only been out once today. :)

I have read plenty of expert advice on here though! I'm sure I read somewhere that they will get on better when free ranging as the bullied ones can get out of the way more easily.

 

Hope this helps!

 

I am sure a superposter will be a long to reassure you soon!

 

Kev.

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It all looks nasty, but it is a charade they have to go through. They all have to play the correct parts, and once the new ones accept that they are underlings and defer properly to the older ones, they will be ignored.

 

The little ones sometimes lie down and play dead in a corner while the old ones stand over them. Don't be frightened by this.

 

My little ones are now crouching for the older ones and there is some mounting going on, which I find very peculiar. But "Ooops, word censored!"ody gets injured: they just lose a little fluff off their back.

 

My bad-tempered hen died a week ago, and it is quite strange watching the power-struggles change. My Cochin has asserted herself for the first time, and the two middle hens seem a lot happier. They have all moved up one space in the Cube. They really do take all this business very seriously.

 

I think the key thing when introducing hens is that the little ones have to be of an age when they can run out of the way. My last two were almost babies (they still went Cheep), and they were just too vulnerable: they might have been treated as fresh food. I've only just put them together.

 

I do recommend to anyone getting a Cube to keep the old Eglu if they have room: it's such a comfort having it. I am thinking of putting mine on the patio when it is not being used, as it is a work of art.

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So far so good. Polly picked on her last night before bed. I couldn't bear to watch so removed toffee til it got really dark and then put her through the egg port. They're still in the run and she's being allowed to eat and drink so I figured that was a good thing. Toffee seems more unsure about the weather. Not sure how long it going to last. :?

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