Chickens are aggressive to other hens that aren’t raised together. When you have a new flock (two or more) hens that you want in the coop/run with some older hens, can be tricky. There can be multiple periods of time that you might need to isolate a hen or two. When introducing a new hen(s) you will have to ease her in.
Why we isolated
We had been given a chick about 8-10 weeks old, to which was found wondering the city streets. She was picked up by a friend and than given to us to raise. When the hen was fully feathered we wanted to move her outside with the rest of the hens. As I did research to figure out how. I didn’t imagine how tricky it was going to be. Hens are mean!
I had the little chick in a metal dog crate. Easy to move around, good exposure to other hen while also protecting her from any fights. I would do a couple hours a day in the crate with the other hens, as it should get them use to her.. Maybe this was my mistake..
As time went on, I had decided it was time to let her out and see how she does with the other hens. Since the other hens had started to leave her cage alone and do what they do. The moment she was out, 4-5 hens started going after her. I didn’t pull her out immediately. I gave them a minute to see what would happen.
This didn’t stop, so I pulled her out. Thinking maybe it she was still too little to defend herself. Problem was, she was getting to big for her metal crate and noticeably unhappy. Pacing, pecking, trying to jump out when i would fill feed and water. She needed to be outside.
How We Isolated
I couldn’t put her in the big run with the other hens as I didn’t think she would make it. So I pulled our dog house from the front to the back near the big coop. This way they still see/hear each other. Our dog doesn’t use it, he prefers under the porch.
I added a small run connecting to the dog house. Using left over lumber from previous projects. Giving her shelter and a space to be out. It’s small, but bigger than her metal cage and outside.
As most things , there more needed to be done on the isolation house to clean it up. Having the small house with be of more use than just this one time. All our hens are different ages, we will most likely face this problem again. They get old, new hens come, hens beat each other up and need a safe place.
Many chicken owners talked about it keeping them isolated for a few days and reintroducing should fix the issue. Or if one gets wounded, the other hens see it and peck at it, so you may need to move one just to heal.
I would like to make the run a bit longer and stage it in a way that’s more pleasing to the eye. But as for now it does it job until we can get the new hen in with the others.