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Trouble Introducing New Chicken

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yesterday we bought a new chicken 17 weeks old Australorp to be a new playmate for our 3 YO ISA Brown "Henny".

Sadly her other mate died a few weeks ago and she seemed to be lonely. They had been together for 3 years side by side everyday.

Henny has always been a feisty girl and very bossy. When I bought the new girl home she instantly started making a heck of a fuss although separated by the yard and the Run.  Making a lot of noise - to be honest she just seems a bit peed off about it.  Last night had them in separate sleeping quarters and Henny in her usual coop.  This morning I have bought the new girl out and let Henny loose again into the garden - her usual daytime place and she is still making a racket.  Any suggestions ? 

Thanks

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogochook View Post

Yesterday we bought a new chicken 17 weeks old Australorp to be a new playmate for our 3 YO ISA Brown "Henny".
Sadly her other mate died a few weeks ago and she seemed to be lonely. They had been together for 3 years side by side everyday.
Henny has always been a feisty girl and very bossy. When I bought the new girl home she instantly started making a heck of a fuss although separated by the yard and the Run.  Making a lot of noise - to be honest she just seems a bit peed off about it.  Last night had them in separate sleeping quarters and Henny in her usual coop.  This morning I have bought the new girl out and let Henny loose again into the garden - her usual daytime place and she is still making a racket.  Any suggestions ? 
Thanks

Was in a similar situation this summer. See this thread: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1035086/introducing-young-hen-to-an-older-hen#post_15964904

They'll go thru a normal pecking order ritual but the young one should back down and may even hide... But give it a few days and they will become friends... At least ours did and now the little one follows the older one everywhere! Good luck!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the reply I will persist with trying to make them friends - my partner thought I should of bought one the same colour - do you think this would of made a difference.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogochook View Post

Thank you for the reply I will persist with trying to make them friends - my partner thought I should of bought one the same colour - do you think this would of made a difference.

You're welcome. I'm not sure if color makes a difference. In my flock it definitely doesn't play a part in who the best friends are. Just give them some time and they'll become fast friends.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogochook View Post
 

Thank you for the reply I will persist with trying to make them friends - my partner thought I should of bought one the same colour - do you think this would of made a difference.

Welcome to BYC!!

 

I don't think you can 'make' them be 'friends'...but you do need to give them time to become acclimated to one another.

Integration can be a slow and many stepped process depending on the situation.

Sometimes you just have to play it by 'ear' and 'eye', be flexible...observation and understanding of their needs / behaviors can really help. 

 

 

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......

......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.

See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

 

Integration of new chickens into flock.

 

Consider medical quarantine:

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

 

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

 

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

 

If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

 

 

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

 

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

 

Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

 

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

 

Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

 

Read up on integration.....  BYC advanced search>titles only>integration

This is good place to start reading:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock


Edited by aart - 10/25/15 at 6:33am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone who has given me a few suggestions.  Just an update to anyone who is interested - we tried segregation for the first two days, but grew a little concerned by the constant crowing from our older girl, it didn't stop for 48 hours.  We wanted to let the new girl experience being outside in the yard - as that would be their normal day time habitat, but the older one would not stop snapping, launching and terrorising the new girl.  The Australorp is very nearly the same size as our ISA, so size isn't an issue, but I think because the new girl was raised in an indoor facility with 12 other girls and a rooster, never seen a sunny day or felt the breeze on her she was quite spooked.  So we let her roam and locked the other one into her pen - more screeching non stop.  Oh I hated it and found it quite distressing.  Hubby thought of hobbling the older girl to stop her from launching and attacking the new girl, sounds cruel I know and I was quite hesitant, but a few cable ties and a shoelace has stopped her from attacking - it has slowed her down somewhat but not restricted her from still having a go.  She was really distracted by trying to untie the shoelace, and forgot about the new girl for a while.  Two more days and we kept them apart at night.  Last night thought they have to get used to each other in the Pen and Coop - so we locked them in - found one on the roof and the other in the corner of the pen.  We physically had to put them both into their coup and settle for the night.  Next morning both of them are up - keeping their distance.  Today, when I came home from work and they had been in the yard together all day - they were still keeping their distance from one another by about 1 metre apart, not so much chasing anymore, but new girl walks a wide berth when passing the other.  Tonight - again - locked them in - we go outside to check on them to see if they entered their coup - again 1 on the roof - the other in the corner.  So tonight we are just going to let themselves decide - is it too cold out here for an all night Mexican standoff?  So...... next question - is it quite common for an Australorp to go to sleep about 6 feet up ?  She seems to like that roof - or is it she is keeping a close eye on the older girl on the ground - knowing she is a little restricted ?

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogochook View Post
 

Thanks to everyone who has given me a few suggestions.  Just an update to anyone who is interested - we tried segregation for the first two days, but grew a little concerned by the constant crowing from our older girl, it didn't stop for 48 hours.  We wanted to let the new girl experience being outside in the yard - as that would be their normal day time habitat, but the older one would not stop snapping, launching and terrorising the new girl.  The Australorp is very nearly the same size as our ISA, so size isn't an issue, but I think because the new girl was raised in an indoor facility with 12 other girls and a rooster, never seen a sunny day or felt the breeze on her she was quite spooked.  So we let her roam and locked the other one into her pen - more screeching non stop.  Oh I hated it and found it quite distressing.  Hubby thought of hobbling the older girl to stop her from launching and attacking the new girl, sounds cruel I know and I was quite hesitant, but a few cable ties and a shoelace has stopped her from attacking - it has slowed her down somewhat but not restricted her from still having a go.  She was really distracted by trying to untie the shoelace, and forgot about the new girl for a while.  Two more days and we kept them apart at night.  Last night thought they have to get used to each other in the Pen and Coop - so we locked them in - found one on the roof and the other in the corner of the pen.  We physically had to put them both into their coup and settle for the night.  Next morning both of them are up - keeping their distance.  Today, when I came home from work and they had been in the yard together all day - they were still keeping their distance from one another by about 1 metre apart, not so much chasing anymore, but new girl walks a wide berth when passing the other.  Tonight - again - locked them in - we go outside to check on them to see if they entered their coup - again 1 on the roof - the other in the corner.  So tonight we are just going to let themselves decide - is it too cold out here for an all night Mexican standoff?  So...... next question - is it quite common for an Australorp to go to sleep about 6 feet up ?  She seems to like that roof - or is it she is keeping a close eye on the older girl on the ground - knowing she is a little restricted ?

They all like to roost as high as possible...and they probably don't want to be too close together yet.

Just keep putting them both in the coop at night to keep them safer.

 

What are the roosts like in your coop? Pics would help.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogochook View Post

Thanks to everyone who has given me a few suggestions.  Just an update to anyone who is interested - we tried segregation for the first two days, but grew a little concerned by the constant crowing from our older girl, it didn't stop for 48 hours.  We wanted to let the new girl experience being outside in the yard - as that would be their normal day time habitat, but the older one would not stop snapping, launching and terrorising the new girl.  The Australorp is very nearly the same size as our ISA, so size isn't an issue, but I think because the new girl was raised in an indoor facility with 12 other girls and a rooster, never seen a sunny day or felt the breeze on her she was quite spooked.  So we let her roam and locked the other one into her pen - more screeching non stop.  Oh I hated it and found it quite distressing.  Hubby thought of hobbling the older girl to stop her from launching and attacking the new girl, sounds cruel I know and I was quite hesitant, but a few cable ties and a shoelace has stopped her from attacking - it has slowed her down somewhat but not restricted her from still having a go.  She was really distracted by trying to untie the shoelace, and forgot about the new girl for a while.  Two more days and we kept them apart at night.  Last night thought they have to get used to each other in the Pen and Coop - so we locked them in - found one on the roof and the other in the corner of the pen.  We physically had to put them both into their coup and settle for the night.  Next morning both of them are up - keeping their distance.  Today, when I came home from work and they had been in the yard together all day - they were still keeping their distance from one another by about 1 metre apart, not so much chasing anymore, but new girl walks a wide berth when passing the other.  Tonight - again - locked them in - we go outside to check on them to see if they entered their coup - again 1 on the roof - the other in the corner.  So tonight we are just going to let themselves decide - is it too cold out here for an all night Mexican standoff?  So...... next question - is it quite common for an Australorp to go to sleep about 6 feet up ?  She seems to like that roof - or is it she is keeping a close eye on the older girl on the ground - knowing she is a little restricted ?

When we introduced Little Red to big Red we had something similar happen... Little Red would hide in the corner by the waterer all day... However at night they would go into the coop and roost together... It was like this for about a week or so before they became friends.
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