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introducing new hens / chicks any advice?

(4 Posts)
mabel1973 Fri 15-Aug-08 10:07:04

We lost one of our hens this week, we were given them just over a year ago from a guy who was getting rid as their egg production was slowing down, so I think they were quite old when we got them.
So we just have Henny Jenny left. She is looking very down and lonely.
I would like to get a couple of new ones to keep her company but am reluctant to get older ones now, as it is not fair on the kids (or me!) if they keep dying from old age.
I am thinking of getting some chicks but no idea how i should introduce them, or if it's a good idea, i want to avoid any scrapping!

TheDuchessOfNorksBride Fri 15-Aug-08 11:41:26

Do you know where your nearest chicken farm is?

Very small chicks may be immediately adopted by your older hen or she may hate them and peck/bully/kill them. If you bought them aged 6 weeks and up, they no longer require a mother hen/heat lamp, they'll eat growers pellets and more importantly, they'll be fast enough to keep out of her way if she doesn't like them. I'd be tempted to get some Point of Lay hens, around 16-20 weeks old as they'll make better friends. Placid breeds would be kinder on Henny Jenny!

If you do get young chicks, I'd put them in an attached run, or fence a bit of the existing run off, so that Henny & chicks can look at each other for awhile before putting them in together.

If you're near East Sussex/Kent borders I have some 7wk or 11wk old hens for £8 each.

mabel1973 Fri 15-Aug-08 16:42:33

Hi thanks for the advice, and the offer, we are in the midlands though. We have a friend of a friend who breeds hens, so we are hoping to possibly go and have a look tommorow.
Thanks for letting me know about the food as well, I wasn't sure if they'd be able to eat pellets or not.

hermionegrangerat34 Sun 17-Aug-08 23:32:21

we had to change one of our new chickens a few weeks after we got them, when it became clear that she was a he! The breeder told us to put it in the coop at night when they were all roosting,and then to spray all the birds with a dilute vinegar solution, so that in the morning they would all smell the same and not notice the new one. it seemed to work, we had no pecking or aggression problems.

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