Jump to content
Speckledotty

Introducing one chicken to existing two

Recommended Posts

I'm a very novice chicken keeper, and bought my first two chickens just over a week ago. I added a different breed on Friday, and there has been a bit of bullying towards the newest ever since. We let them free range together when we are around to supervise, and the newest gets chased around a bit, but has plenty of room to escape. We have segregated the run for when they have to be shut into it, so they can see each other but can't get to each other. I feel sorry for the newest one, as she is on her own. Does anyone think it would be helpful to get another one to go with her (same age)? Or would this potentially make the situation worse?? I'd be grateful of any advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Introducing new birds to an existing flock can be very difficult, although some manage without much fuss. Adding a single bird is not something that is generally adviced and I think the chicken breeder shouldn’t have let you leave with a single bird, aspecially as new chicken owners. 

Personally I have never added a single bird, so someone will probably be along shortly to advice what to do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Cat tails. I am kicking myself for not buying two together, as we have the space, so would happily buy another if it would help the situation, but I'm worried about making it worse!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said, the breeder should not have let you have one alone. She will be destined to a lonely bullied life whatever happens. You can add two to one if you are careful, but not one to two with safety without a rather complex and time consuming process.

Adding a single hen is extremely difficult and requires neutral ground, not the existing coop and run in it's current location. You move the two established ones out and put them somewhere else. Then put the newcomer into the run and coop in a new location and leave her to establish herself. She will quickly be lonely, so move the original two close to her. Wait a week and then put the two in.

If you haven't the facilities or ability to move the coop and run it will be down to luck. Make sure you add an extra feeder and drinker as that's when the newbie will be bullied.

Adding another hen now is courting disaster I think. You would need to separate and add one to one and then re-introduce both pairs on new ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you might need to take her back and get two new ones. Like Beantree says, it’s down to luck trying to integrate her, but that’s not how you should want to start your chicken keeping life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the others have said, this sin't something we'd advise, and I am concerned that the supplier allowed it to happen. The only remedy would be to set up alternative housing, which is what should have been the starting pint anyhow (see the FAQ thread on introductions) and to take out the new bird, plus a more compliant one from the existing flock. Keep them separated as you would normally with an introduction... Not least for isolation and quarantine, let them get used to each other for a couple or 3 weeks, then gradually to the existing flock as per the introductions thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On this topic I just received my 3 meter cube and a local breeder hatched out some barnyard mixed laying hens for Easter they have had a second hatch 3 days ago of some eggers.

They have agreed to raise the hens until the weather improves ( I do not have the set up). Would it be acceptable (healthy) to put a mixture of young birds 3 weeks apart in age together?

 Thanks for your replies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above that it isn't the ideal situation but (quarantine aside) at last the original two had only been there for a few days. We often put birds together from the same breeder but separate pens so I would treat this situation like that.

If they were mine I would keep them together all the time, ensure there are several feeding stations, free range them together and keep an eye on them as you are doing.
Squabbling is to be expected as they sort out the pecking order so leave them to it unless blood is drawn; they will calm down when they start laying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd carry on with what you are doing and just give them time.  It takes a couple of weeks.  Gut instinct will tell you when they are safe to leave together.  I've introduced one in the past in the way you are doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had a "hen solo" for about a year, she's now 3. Normally we buy in pairs and wait until both have departed until replacing. However, this time we decided to get two new ones last weekend and introduce to the solo. Took the advice of the seller (Sunnyside Poultry), let the older one out to FR for the day, put the new ones into the run then added the third at bedtime. One minor squabble, but everything's been OK so far.

Meet Lacey and Suzie...

20180422_123728.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×