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chocolatedog

Friend asked me to rehome lonely girl.....

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Hi folks - haven't been on here in a while. Hope everyone is well. Title says it all really. A friend has a single chicken left after her other one died and she has decided to give up keeping chickens. She asked me if I would rehome the lonely hen (about 3 ish?). I have a small "flock" of 2 hens - Ginger, my old original (yes, she's still going strong at the age of 6 - and still laying 3-4 eggs a week, but has frequent weeks off!), and Bluebell, one of the new ones I introduced last summer. Snowdrop sadly died young..... :( Anyway, I know it's generally not a god idea to introduce a single hen to an established flock, but would a single hen to 2 others be OK, especially as she's a mature girl and not a young POL? I still have the omlet run set up inside the large outer run, so could use that, but have no other sleeping quarters other than the eglu.......

Any thought please?

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I have only done intros once and that was 3 to 2. 1 to 2 might be a little more tricky, although if you have a safe run area to keep them separate, it might be possible to pop the new girl into the eglu at night as long as you can get her out nice and early in the morning. Unless you have some kind of cat box she could sleep in? I am by no means an expert chicken keeper, so hopefully someone else with more knowledge will come along with their ideas :)

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Last year I introduced Prilly on her own to my girls, I only had Fliss (she was an older girl) and Marilyn who was POL and we had only had about 2 weeks (and I added Marilyn to Fliss on her own but I expect Fliss was happy for the company)

 

Anyway of all my introductions Prilly was the easiest, I am fortunate enough to have a large garden so all my introductions I do FR giving them all enough space and it seems to work.

 

The only time I have ever had an issue adding 1 on its own was also last year when Judith came she was not accepted and I had some terrible moments, she was always on her own etc and desperate to escape at all times found her one night sleeping in the cat box anyway the intro began mid August and by September all was well and she was finally accepted however I can only assume the problem was that Judith was in fact Julian who is happily living with mum and doesn't seem to hold any grudges when my lot of feathery rat bags go to stay

 

Good luck x

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I've rehomed a lone hen in the past, with my 4 original ex batts. I kept them separate for a week by dividing the run with chicken wire. There was a lot of squaring up through the divide but it settled down after a week so I thought I'd risk mixing them. New girl Lottie turned out to be a feisty madam, she jumped straight on my top girl Bella and pinned her! Then strutted off like she owned the place (which she did really, after that :lol: ).

But, yes, it is possible. Go as slow and steady as you need to and remember you can always go back a step if intros are not going smoothly.

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So far, things are going pretty well.... They survived their first night together in the Eglu, having been kept separate all day with a brief merging spell before bedtime. Of course, Ginger and Molly, both being dominant, had a bit of a set-to, but I was on hand to wade in and deal with it. Today, whenever I've been out, I've left them in separate runs, but when I've been around and pottering in and out of the garden, I've left all the internal doors open - no more squabbling, but they did tend to avoid each other. No problems at bedtime. I'm hopeful that they'll be well settled by the the time I go away next Monday....... :pray:

 

Molly seems to have been going through a mini-moult - would this be a genuine mini-moult at this time of year, or would it be lack of condition due to being on her own, and lonely? Or just lack of condition for an ISA aged 4? She's cute though - fed happily from my hand today, tried out the nesting box for size (without producing an egg) and is very happy to be near me generally....... Awwww :)

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