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Integration nightmare - please help

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I am a week into integrating a loan hen I inherited. She was a bit poorly when she came to me, so lived in the house for 2 1/2 weeks. During that time, the rest of my flock were able to see her through the patio doors. There was no hostility during this time, and they used to sunbathe together either side of the glass.


Fast forward to last weekend when I let the new hen, Dolly, out for the first time and segregated the run so she has a separate part where they cannot attack her.


Nugget, my head girl, is being evil to Dolly and will jump on her back and pull her feathers out given the opportunity. When they are free ranging, my husband and I are constantly with them so we can break up any fights before they happen.


Now the fighting and screaming I expected, but Nugget (my top hen) has been in a constant state of severe stress ever since Dolly first appeared in the garden last weekend. She is not eating very much at all now, is quite withdrawn and quiet (when she isn't screaming at Dolly) except for her scared, quiet little "pop pop pop" alarm call. She and her sister Lola have screamed themselves ho"Ooops, word censored!" over the last week and when they do talk their voices are very croaky.


I can handle the fighting and the yelling, but Nugget not eating is really worrying me (she's also my favorite :( ). Is this a normal behavior? Should I let her fight with Dolly and get it out of her system? Is there anything I can give her to make her chill out a bit?


Thanks everyone.

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I don't break up fights between the girls unless it gets out of hand or blood is drawn as it can prolong things but that's a judgement call which comes with knowing your own mob

your two girls both have a lot to loose in terms of the pecking order so will be a bit more stressed out

the jumping on the newbies back is a dominance thing can look worst than it is

forget about the behavior from when the newbie was inside the glass divide as far as all were concerned at the time each side of the divide was each parties own territory so no one was a threat to the other

just let them all free range together with enough feeders and drinkers so that the older girls can't defend them all and leave them to it under supervision but don't be to quick to intervene also let the newbie out first every time a few minutes at first then as long as it takes to open the second run up after a couple of days don't know why it works but it do's it's the way chickens brains are wired .if you need to intervene pick up the aggesser if you can it shows her that you are the boss not her and that the bullied one has a friend

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