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Rooster with little man syndrome and an alpha hen. HELP

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
HI guys.
I'm new here and a new chicken momma. I finally got a chicken coop after years of hubby promising me to build one. A chicken friend of mine gave me 2 of her docile Cochin hens with the agreement that I'd take her Banni rooster. All 3 are 10 months old and hens wete layig prior to their move. He's friendly but obviously can't breed the hens due to his small size. So he's just a pet. Just 5 days after getting the 2 hens and rooster whom were in the same coop at their prior home, I introduced a 5 to 6 mos old Red Sex Link hen and a 5 to 6 mos old Rhode Island Red hen. Of course pecking order is expected but I have a feeling g that this little rooster has napoleon syndrome and he keeps the old hens separated from the new hens. Also if the new hens get close to the old hens to drink or eat, my more alpha old hen pecks at them. The new girls stayed in the nesting box all day today. I was hoping they were laying but they were just scared. I carfully kicked them out to get them back in the mix and they keep trying to crash themselves into the corner under the nesting box......like they want out and they're miserable. I feel horrible. I know there will always be someone establishing alpha status UT would it help alleviate some tenting if I didn't have the alpha rooster AND alpha hen? Is this like a double edged sword for my poor newbies or is it irrevelant?

Also, of my first 2 hens (I refer to as my old hens sick I got them first) ply one had laid an egg since it's been relocated and the other hasn't at all. The rooster can't breed her but stays in the box with her when she lays an egg. But the other hen goes in and comes out....no egg and rooster never "cheers" her on.

All this going on...I'm not very patient, can you tell? Lol I just want happy chickens and eggs!

What would you all do??
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry for typos......
Meant to say ...

BUT would it help alleviate some tension if I didn't have the alpha rooster and hen meaning one or the other but not BOTH.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 6

You might want to read this tutorial on introducing new birds to an existing flock.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/971960/how-to-introduce-new-birds-to-your-flock

 

It is usually best to introduce new birds in a wire crate or separate wire run so the birds can see each other but not interact. Just tossing them in with an existing flock will result in what you are seeing - bullied, scared pullets. I can guarantee your resident birds are also preventing them from eating and drinking. 

 

As for the eggs, moving hens to a new location will often result in a disruption of laying. Cochins aren't the best layers anyway.

post #5 of 6

Welcome to BYC!

 

Well, you have an integration problem.

It all about territory, the existing birds are protecting their space and resources(food/water) from the new strangers.

It can take weeks for new birds to integrate into an existing flock,

we can help the situation by understating what is happening and how to temper and manage it.

 

Lots of space, multiple food/water stations, places to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not dead end traps) and/or up and way from aggressors.

 

 

 

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

 

It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.

Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224

 

 

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

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 6

Really, add some hide outs, some extra water and feed bowls and in a few days this will be mostly over. As long as there is no blood, let it go. They will work this out. Once they do, you should get eggs as long as the birds are really the age people say they are.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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