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Introducing Chickens--PLEASE HELP!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I am new to BYC so first of all Hi everyone! I need some help with introducing chickens.

 

I've had chickens before that I bought from an auction, all the girls came together and all had their beaks clipped so they all got along etc and had already established order. Now I just moved and got a new flock. I had gotten 4 Rhode Island Red chicks at a fair in hopes of course having all girls. Unfortunately out of the 4 chicks, 3 of them ended up being males with only one female. They are now just reaching sexual maturity so I am separating them. No since hens don't like to be by themselves to lay eggs I am getting new chickens. I have just gotten an 8 week old Jersey Giant pullet and am trying to introduce them. My 3 roosters are now free-range while I plan on keeping the hens in the run I made as well as coop. 

It's all chaos...

Well the cockerels are having fun being free range and don't really care about my hen (Sydney). She on the other hand is having huge separation anxiety from them which I was hoping would help her accept my new girl (Fenja). At first there's normal pecking etc but she's being very overbearing. Fenja is decent size so she's not a baby baby but she's terrified of Sydney. She comes and hides on me etc and always wants to be with me. Yesterday I had them both outside together and Fenja got between Sydney and was walking along the fence when the roosters came over and Sydney I guess dealing with the separation went after her pretty good. Thankfully she's ok but since then I have put up a fence in the middle of the pen to keep them separated. At night I lock them up in the coop together when they're all settled down and they seem to be fine, Fenja seems to have found her "safe place" between a nesting box and the wall where Sydney can't really get her. During the day I have them on opposite sides of the fence so hopefully Sydney can begin to accept her but she herself is still more occupied worrying about the roosters.

 

What else can I do? Is this okay for now and I just have to give it time or should I do something else? I've read places about putting a dog cage in there etc but I don't have one and they are a bit pricey. So please help; what can I do to have Sydney accept her more willingly? 

 

P.S. I will also be getting two other pullets in the next few weeks both about to start laying so I will need to introduce again but hopefully since they will all be similar size it will be easier. I just want Sydney to accept Fenja and "take her under her wing" to say so that they get along and when I get two more Sydney will consider her part of her flock. 

 

Thanks again!

post #2 of 5

I have noticed with my flock the pecking order changes as they age. Maybe it would be easier if the cockerels werent in a place that your original can see. That might help them get along with the pecking order faster.

 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

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 My daily ramblings on about nothing http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1011208/making-the-most-of-it

 

 

If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at.

 

I speak in silly and smartypants....

 

A picture is always worth showing.

Reply
post #3 of 5

It is usually a good idea to keep birds being introduced separated by a fence or something they can see through for a week. That allows them to get to know each other before they can physically interact.  Then give them as much space as you can with enough room and things to break the lines of sight, so they can break away once they decide who is on top.  Without that room it will look to the hen coming out on top, that the other isn't backing down, so she will continue to be aggressive.   To give them maximum room, if you can, confine the cockerels and leave the pullets free range while they establish the pecking order.

Den
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Den
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den in Penn View Post
 

It is usually a good idea to keep birds being introduced separated by a fence or something they can see through for a week. That allows them to get to know each other before they can physically interact.  Then give them as much space as you can with enough room and things to break the lines of sight, so they can break away once they decide who is on top.  Without that room it will look to the hen coming out on top, that the other isn't backing down, so she will continue to be aggressive.   To give them maximum room, if you can, confine the cockerels and leave the pullets free range while they establish the pecking order.

Great advice!

 

Multiple feed/water stations and roosts can help too.

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 #5 of 5

I originally had 12 chickens and have integrated five more. I got 3 young bantams, a frizzle (much younger), and a random red chicken. After a forty day quarantine on the new birds (way away from my existing flock) I started to integrate them. I began with random red chicken who we call guinea pig as she was my tester because I have never done this before. I just threw her in on a day I was going to be there and made sure I gave the others plenty of scratch, filled food toys etc. to keep them busy. There was some minor pecking but that was it, I threw the bantams in a few days later doing the same with treats to keep them busy. I also set up water and feed on the other side of the building so the new ones would have a chance to eat and drink without the old crew "getting" them. The frizzle was so much younger and smaller that after quarantine I made her a small coop ( about 4 x 4) out of chicken wire and put her in the smaller coop inside my coop for about two weeks. Then I let her out during the day with them and only separated her at night so they would not get her before I woke up. About two more weeks of separate at night and I went in to get her to lock her up and she was on a roosting bar cuddled between two barred rocks so I have left her out since then. My run is big (40x50) so I think there were little problems because the new ones could get away and hide in grass and other vegetation but the frizzle that I took the longest to integrate has joined the existing flock much more quickly than the others and I have had no fights with her.

Proud mom of two children, 10 rescue dogs, 10 rescue cats, 5 turtles, 1 snake, 1 toad, 2 horses, 2 bunnies, 2 ducks, 5 Barred Rocks, 2 Cinnamon Queens, 1 Easter Egger, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Golden Laced Polish, 6 mixed Bantams, 1 random red chicken, 1 Frizzle 
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Proud mom of two children, 10 rescue dogs, 10 rescue cats, 5 turtles, 1 snake, 1 toad, 2 horses, 2 bunnies, 2 ducks, 5 Barred Rocks, 2 Cinnamon Queens, 1 Easter Egger, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Golden Laced Polish, 6 mixed Bantams, 1 random red chicken, 1 Frizzle 
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