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How long does it take for older hens to get used to the younger ones

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello All

 

I will start the thread on my lap top. Not able to start a new thread on my Galaxy 5.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have 4 hens. 1 Americana We was told, she lays light brown eggs. I will post a picture,maybe some one can tell me what breed she is. A white bantam. They are 7 months old. 2 dark bramas. They are 3 months old the 17th of the month. They are about the same size now.My husband built a chicken tractor. He built a small coop next to it so they could get used to each other. We just put them in the coop around 8 days ago. They have large ledges to go to to get away from the older girls.We also have a water mister to keep them cool when it gets hot. We are in Florida. The 2 bramas stay up in the nesting house or on the other ledges most of the day. We let them out in tbe am and the pm to free range. The hen likes to keep the young girls up, when they try to get on the ground she chases them. I know their is a pecking order, but how long will this go on. I really feel for the younger ones, they are the sweetest girls. I can pick them up. Pet them
They even jump on my lap. Any input would be appreciated.[IMG][IMG][IMG]
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
any one can help me with the breed this hen may be please was told was a americana, she lays light brown eggs
post #4 of 15

If they have only laid eyes on one another recently, it's normal for the older ones, who have been around longer, to chase and bully because the younger ones are strangers and intruders in their eyes.

 

Ideally, when you get new chicks, raising them alongside the older chickens helps them to become members of the flock by proximity, and when they become old enough to mingle, there is very little conflict because they've long been accepted as belonging.

 

Introducing chicks only after they've become fully grown produces more conflict because they are the same size and are looked on as threats to the existing social order while small chicks are not.

 

If the Brahmas have only been mingling with the older two for a week, that's not long enough for strange new chickens to become accepted. It took a month for a hen I recently introduced to my flock to be fully accepted. The older ones need time to get used to the new ones, while the new ones need time to gain self confidence with the established hens.

 

Do what you can to help the Brahmas build self confidence by giving them a safe space during the day where they won't be bullied during the next three weeks while everyone is getting used to being together. After a few weeks, it should be safe to let them mingle outside.


Edited by azygous - 5/12/16 at 8:07pm
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
They have been in a coop next to the 7 month old hens for 1 and a half months. In the coop with them about 9 to 10 days. We kept them in the house a month The americana keeps chasing them, they are the same size
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
So no they are not new to them. I read up on how to intrude them. I thought we did it correctly
post #7 of 15

The problem is probably that the older ones are still very young and immature. I had the same problem last year once my chicks reached three months and could no longer fit through the chick-size openings of their panic room safe pen. The chicks dealt with it. The pullets gave chase, but the chicks learned to outrun them.

 

Your Brahmas are a very docile breed. I have them, and love them, but they can take forever to develop self confidence. That's the reason I recommended a safe space for your two until they grow their confidence enough to deal with the older hens. I did that with a single Brahma a few years ago when she was being bullied and was miserable. She spent the days in a safe pen, where she could still interact with the flock, but they couldn't torment her. When I let her mingle again, she was changed. It just took a few weeks of being alone to recover enough of her confidence to deal with the pecking order again.

 

If you're around during the day, how about refereeing by letting the flock have time together until the older ones start bullying and the Brahmas start retreating, then put them in a safe space for the rest of the day. It may interrupt the flock dynamics enough where the older ones will start to give up their bullying and the younger ones will grow more self confident.

 

It's just a matter of time, anyway, and it will happen even if you decide to do nothing.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my question
post #9 of 15

I've been puzzling over your question as to what breed this hen is that's pictured. She looks like a "barnyard mix", but with a lot of Brahma in her and maybe some Orpington. Maybe some Plymouth Rock.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
My question was about the light colored hen. Was told she was a americana. She lays light brown large eggs. I believe the Americans lay blue eggs, what I have read.Thank you
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