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Introducing young pullets to flock of 1 year old pullets

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have 5 pullets which we have had for a year and got 5 new ones in February. We have the run divided with chicken wire and 2 separate coops for now. We have been letting them free range together for a few hours at a time for 2 weeks. There has been some peeking order business take place but for the most part the big girls keep to themselves and the little girls stay close to their run/coop area. Today though, one of the older girls jumped on one of the younger ones and cornered her so she couldn't escspe. It's a bad deal. Young pullet has a nickel size piece of flesh and feathers missing from the back of her head. I think the bigger one would have killed her had we not been out there to stop it.
Are we going about this all wrong? What has been your experience merging new birds into an existing flock?
post #2 of 9

Your method of introduction and gradual mingling of the two groups were very good! It does sound like you have a nasty bully in the flock that needs taken in hand quickly though. I would remove the attacker and keep her completely separated from the rest of the flock for at least 2 weeks, before letting her back in. This will hopefully bump her down the pecking order a bit and let her rethink her behaviour in future. If that fails and you don't want to get rid of her, do a search for "pinless peepers" here. I heard they work quite well.

 

How is your injured pullet doing?

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumi View Post

Your method of introduction and gradual mingling of the two groups were very good! It does sound like you have a nasty bully in the flock that needs taken in hand quickly though. I would remove the attacker and keep her completely separated from the rest of the flock for at least 2 weeks, before letting her back in. This will hopefully bump her down the pecking order a bit and let her rethink her behaviour in future. If that fails and you don't want to get rid of her, do a search for "pinless peepers" here. I heard they work quite well.

How is your injured pullet doing?

She took it really well. We brought her inside away from the others and back into the brooder box to keep the others from pecking at the wound. We rinsed the wound with a saline wound wash. I also had a antibiotic on hand. It's called Primor. It is used for the treatment of bacterial infections in soft tissues. We took half of a 100mg pill and crushed it into a fine powder and made a watery paste with it. After using the saline wash, we gently dabbed the wound with cotton balls to absorb and excess moisture, then we used a syringe without the needle and slowly let the Primor paste drip down over the wound and let it dry. We have not covered the wound yet. She is eating and drinking. She seems to be a trooper. Hoping she makes a full recovery!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumi View Post

Your method of introduction and gradual mingling of the two groups were very good! It does sound like you have a nasty bully in the flock that needs taken in hand quickly though. I would remove the attacker and keep her completely separated from the rest of the flock for at least 2 weeks, before letting her back in. This will hopefully bump her down the pecking order a bit and let her rethink her behaviour in future. If that fails and you don't want to get rid of her, do a search for "pinless peepers" here. I heard they work quite well.

How is your injured pullet doing?

And you know what's really strange? The bully that hurt the little one is actually either the lowest in the pecking order of the big girls or second lowest!
post #5 of 9

Ugh, bullied turning bully? :/ 

 

I'm glad to hear the pullet is doing well. I've had a young pullet suffer a similar injury after a predator attack. We dabbed some antibiotic cream on it and left it open. It took awhile, but it healed beautifully. She just had a tiny bald spot left afterwards. 

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yea my husband is worried she may never grow back feathers in the area. I think it's torn down to the skull :^/
post #7 of 9

Mine was pretty bad too. I didn't take a pic of the injury, but I have this pic, taken a few months after the incident

 

 

You can see the paler area behind her comb where she was injured

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #8 of 9

There is also this story that may interest you: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/healing-a-severely-injured-baby-chick It's quite inspirational!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumi View Post

Mine was pretty bad too. I didn't take a pic of the injury, but I have this pic, taken a few months after the incident




You can see the paler area behind her comb where she was injured
That's the same spot where ours is wounded. It doesn't like bad at all. This picutre gives me hope for her smile.png
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