Introducing new hens

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Blarney

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Introducing new hens
« on: March 15, 2009, 11:45 »
Hi
You may recall that one of our hens Margo got taken by a fox last week.  Here's my situation that I'd appreciate advice on.

Margo was the top hen, she's sadly died. She was a brilliant leader who they all appeared to respect.
Three hens left in the group; no fight for top hen replacement. 
Beryl is so laid back that she may as well lay down; Babs was 2nd in command and isn't trying to be top; Gloris is growing in confidence, is stroppy but the others ignore her.
Decided to get two more hens to join group.

I know the idea is you put them in at night BUT.........

I've just found out the new hens are arriving now - 12 noon.
I only have one coup and one huge run (in a end of terrace house with a 40ft garden)
We are both at work tomorrow from 0600hrs - about 1900hrs - we work long hours.

I know to put in two feeders so there isn't a fight for food or water.

What do I do at 12 noon when they arrive and do I just keep my fingers crossed tomorrow when I'm at work?

These hens will arrive on my doorstep in 30 minutes and there is no one to be here tomorrow.  If I'd have known I'd have taken the week off work but i just can't.

Our current hens are about 8 months old and the new ones are just point of lay.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy:
Claire x

"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid. Mark Twain

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smiler43

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 12:40 »
Is there anybody you know that knows about chickens that can go and keep an eye on them.

Have you got anywhere seperate you can keep them, dog crate or something, seperate the run into 2?  Just some ideas.

Failing these can you take the day off?

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Blarney

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 12:53 »
No - that's my problem.

I can't take the day off; I have no other run or coup, I have no one who can help.

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smiler43

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 13:02 »
You say it's a huge run, you not got anything you can seperate a section off, wire maybe.
What about a large cardboard box, the introduce them at night when you are home?

Or put them in today if you're around and see how they get on, if things go bad then cardboard box somewhere, but you never know they may be fine!

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Blarney

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 13:07 »
Thank you, that is an option as is the shed or garage of course.  I may be anxious for no reason.  I'll keep you posted.  Fingers crossed they will accept the new ones.

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smiler43

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 13:53 »
I've no doubt it will be a very anxious time for you Blarney, I'd be exactly the same.  I'm going to be raising some chicks that school hatched so will have to go throught the process sooner or later, hope it's going to fall at a school holiday though so I'm off!

If it has to be the garage or shed just make sure anything harmful is out of the way :)

Let me know how you get on.

There maybe someone else along that can give you a better idea.

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Blarney

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2009, 17:35 »
Well they are here.  Betty is a Pied Suffolk and she is being pecked a little but is standing her ground.  Jessica on the other hand is a Mendlesham Amber who is being bullied a fair bit.  She is very nervous which I don't think is helping her.

I'm slightly concerned as Jessica has a bald tummy.  I hope she is ok.

I'll keep you posted.

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staffschicks

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2009, 19:04 »
You might be OK, I had 4 one was sick and away from the other for 10 days so they had forgotten her and were a bit mean when she got back so on the basis you should never put one in one her on I chucked another 2 in for good measure.  Apart being moved off the corn in the evening (it is always spread around so it is just a case of moving onto another patch) there isn't any hassle.  So fingers crossed.

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smiler43

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2009, 19:22 »
Hope it all goes well.


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Blarney

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 19:23 »
Bedtime update :closedeyes:

Well they have all settled down in the coup.  Jessica (bald chest, nervous hen) is on the hay in the nest box and Betty is on a perch with two others.

They were quite nasty to them but not evil.  Hopefully the three originals will get bored tomorrow and leave the two new ones alone.

We did notice that when we stopped watching the originals settled a bit so I'll try to keep my distance tomorrow and will just keep a close eye without them realising!  

I did threaten that I'd breadcumb the originals if they weren't nicer so maybe they understood what I was saying. :wacko:

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Blarney

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Re: Introducing new hens
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 19:24 »
Just wanted to say thanks to smiler43 and staffschicks; I appreciate you answering my message. xxx



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