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vicious hens - Page 2

post #11 of 17

My apology.  I obviously missed that part at the bottom where you mentioned your 30 s.f. coop and 90 s.f. run.  My "again" was in reference to previous post before mine (by MMF) My suggestion to separate them from each other is b/c they are bonded to each other, and b/c they are top dogs, they will enable each other to continue the cruelty when you put them back with the rest of the flock.  An other thought might be to separate the flock into 2 groups with 1 RIR in each group.  Hard telling if that would accomplish anything.  Do you have an option of dividing your coop and run, keeping fencing between the RIR and PBR?  It's a tough situation for you to deal with, especially since they are pets.  It would be so nice if they could just play nicely, wouldn't it???  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

No apology necessary, we all miss things now and then. Thank you for explaining. 

 

Now I understand why you suggested separating them from each other. I still don't want to do that, I don't want to deal with their "separation anxiety" screaming. Like I said, I would rather send them to freezer camp or soup camp than listen to days and days of that noise.

 

Separating them into 2 groups is a very interesting idea honestly, I'll have to see if there is some way I can do that. 

 

Yes it would definitely be much nicer if they would all just get along.

 

Thank you for your reply! I will give your suggestions some thought.

post #13 of 17
Very normal, your birds are working out their pecking order, which I think you well know.
Been raising birds for 30 years here's a few things I do.
1- separate them but let them see each other, they'll get use to one another by sight. If they can approach one another with wire between them even better.
2- do a little free range in backyard, let one group out then the next. Plenty of room to run and or hide if necessary, and they'll get some good interaction.
3- adding one dominant bird in with the lesser birds can also gain acceptance by other birds. But there will be a reckoning when the dominate hen's are put back together, usually even if their nest mates the birds will see each other as strangers and they will reestablish the pecking order. Good thing for the lesser birds they'll be pick on less as the dominant birds work it out.
They best method I have found is when the younger birds are 5-6 weeks old move them into the coop with the older birds, but keep them SEPARATED. Make sure they can see one another and interact between wire, usually the older birds ignore them or pretend to. Add one of your lower hens on the pecking order, bottom one works best. An hour or two a day, she won't know what to do with herself in her new queendom. But she will be the most likely to take it easy on her new minions, but keep an eye on her. Leave her in longer every day, but make sure you let her roost and eat before she roosts with the older birds, or she'll have to get re inducted into the flock. After a week add another lesser hen and so on, they may not play nice all the time but eventually they become one flock.
It take's patience, free ranging them together I cannot say enough about, they can stay separated and yet there not. And when treats come out they'll forget about who's who for awhile. Please remember free ranging opens them up to risk, my rule is if I can't watch them or hear them they stay in the coop and run.
Every one gets attached to their birds, and when the little dinosaur comes out it can be shocking.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonz View Post

.... Add one of your lower hens on the pecking order, bottom one works best. An hour or two a day, she won't know what to do with herself in her new queendom. But she will be the most likely to take it easy on her new minions, but keep an eye on her. .....

I've found the lowest bird is often the cruelest to new birds, finally she has someone to beat on... lol.

I use a middle of the pack bird.

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."

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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 #15 of 17

I agree with Aart.  Bottom gal usually beats the snot out of newbies.  Bonz observation of free range is good.  That's how I like to integrate.  Always free range first before moving on to more confined spaces.  However, in the situation faced by Sylie, with only 5 birds, and 2 dominant ones that back each other in their tyranny, it presents more of a challenge.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Bonz, thank you for replying. I mentioned in my original post that the chickens had all been in adjoining pens where they could see/smell/hear each other for over a year until we got the awesome new coop and run built where they could all live together. (HA! that didn't work out! lol) So the getting used to one another by sight didn't work in my case. To be honest, I see that suggestion for integration constantly and cannot figure out why it didn't work for my girls since it is such a popular practice. 

 

Free ranging is absolutely forbidden in my town. We are allowed a max of 10 birds, no roosters and no free ranging. (As mentioned, I have only 5 chickens, I do have 2 ducks also but that is not relevant here) Even if free ranging were permitted we live on a busy street and have many stray dogs that roam the neighborhood. 

 

All of my girls are the same age and basically grew up together, short of the adjoining pen deal, as chicks and pullets they all shared the same brooder and then pullet pen and had no issues. As a group they outgrew sharing the one pen so we had to separate them into the adjoining pens I've already mentioned. By adjoining pens I mean that the 3 pens all share wire "walls".  I suppose I could have somehow removed the wire walls so they were all together but didn't think about it and everything was working out just fine as it was. Since they could all see each other and talk to each other etc in the adjoining pens I figured pecking order would be a relative non issue but boy was I wrong! 

 

As I also mentioned in my original post, I give them treats to distract them such as whole pumpkins, heads of cabbage etc. but that never stopped the reds, if ANYONE came near THEIR cabbages or pumpkins they were immediately ganged up on and made to bleed.  I tried to set out 2 of whatever I was giving them (2 pumpkins or 2 heads of cabbage) so that the reds could have one and the rocks could have one but the reds would "divide and conquer" one red to each pumpkin but in their eyes, everything is theirs and no one else gets any. They would race from pumpkin to pumpkin around the run to attack the rocks and it wasn't just a peck or chase, they would pin the offending rock down and beat the snot out of her. I would have to literally get a hold of the red and pull her off the rock, there was constant blood shed for days and days. So, as I said in a previous post, the reds are now in "chickie jail" as we have come to call it. They cannot see or hear the rocks and the rocks cannot see or hear the reds. They won't be up for parole for another 9 days. 

 

Thank you again for your tips and suggestions

post #17 of 17

Try Separating them again... Or Separate ate The victims from the rest. Or else it's you that feeds them maybe They A) Arert feed a lot   B) Are Plain grochey  C) Or haveing not Seen each other they don't know each nother well.

Hope that helps! 

I live in a house with 1 dog-Sadie, 1 cat-Chesterton, 1 Mini lop-Fatima, 4 Chickens-Shy one, Falcon, Chocolate chip, And Ruby. RIP Lace, my beloved mini lop!

 

Believe my God is real and NOT DEAD!!!!!!!

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I live in a house with 1 dog-Sadie, 1 cat-Chesterton, 1 Mini lop-Fatima, 4 Chickens-Shy one, Falcon, Chocolate chip, And Ruby. RIP Lace, my beloved mini lop!

 

Believe my God is real and NOT DEAD!!!!!!!

Reply
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