This is the story of our integrating a new alpha adult bird into our flock. Still smarting from our horrific experience with Violet, I had plans to slowly introduce Granite, our adopted adult Barred Rock hen, into our flock. If it took weeks, it would take weeks, was my thinking. Granite was the alpha of her flock and I fully expected a prolonged butt-whipping of her from our existing big, bad, alpha – Zelda.
We got Granite on a warm sunny day and put her in a separate cage from the flock where she would be safe and we could keep an eye on her. And then the cold weather came in and it rained and rained and rained. Poor Granite, used to an existing flock, now had no one to roost with.
A new chicken to any flock *should* be isolated for 30 days. We’re actually running into problems in New Hampshire with sick birds infecting existing flocks. To do anything otherwise is to be stupid. Well I was stupid, this is yet another case of do what I say and not what I do. But in my defense I knew the flock Granite came from, I knew there was no disease, it was a local flock, and well, I was worried that Granite was going to get ill from being chilled (yes, the temperatures dropped that low.)
After about 8 days of rain and isolation, she didn’t appear to have any signs of illness so I decided to try her with a few of our birds in an effort to slowly introduce her to the flock. Continue reading