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George Wolff

Lonely old hen!

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Sadly, Mr Fox got one of our two elderly (5 yr) hens yesterday in broad daylight. They'd always free ranged, although we had been taking some precautions as foxes had visited the garden for the first time in years just recently - our sheepdog saw them off on that occassion.

 

Her traumatised friend has had to be confined to barracks as the only time she is safe is when the dogs can be out in the garden with her (she knows that as well!). Can anyone advise about whether it is sensible/desirable to try to introduce her to a couple of young hens at this stage of her life? She was always the dominant one (which may be why she survived).

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Hi George,

 

So sorry to hear of your loss, (and your poor old hen's). She must be wondering what on earth's going on, and I would imagine she would prefer some company, even though she's elderly. It sounds as though she would hold her own with a couple of younger girls. This would, I think, be better than being alone. If you had planned to add more girls, then I would go ahead.

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I have to say that Lottie died before Christmas, leaving Leia on her own. She is four now and has outlived the two ex-barn rescue hens we got in March. She's in very good condition and has laid ten eggs since Christmas, having stopped in October for a full moult.

 

She seems very happy at the moment, very active and gets to free range with OH at lunchtimes for about half an hour, so we are going to leave her as she is and see how she goes. She did find the introductions very stressful last time, but then again she wasn't top bird so that probably didn't help her. She doesn't really know how to hold her own very well with hens, although she has my OH right where she wants him during the day ...

 

Good luck with your new hens and I'd like to know how it goes just in case.

 

Mrs Potts

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So sorry to hear about what happened :( Foxes really can be a bane of our lives - mine are confined to runs at the moment as I can't supervise them whilst they FR and there are a good few foxes that come into our garden regularly.

 

I can't offer more advise than what's been said, but I would say getting a couple of friends for your girl sounds like a lovely idea. Hope she is doing OK!

 

Huge hugs

 

x

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