I am new to BYC and I am in need of help with my birds. I have 3 Amber Link hens that I got as chicks in March. They are laying sporadically now and were perfectly happy about a month ago-before I got a new chick (to replace one i had lost.)
The problem is this: the 3 Amber's are not thrilled about the new chicken. My new chick is a D'uccle Mille Bantum that we got from a friend. My friend got her in May, and I received her about a month ago (mid June). I introduced the Bantum by putting a separate run/box outside the Amber's coop/run and kept the Bantum in there for about a week so that my girls could see and get used to her. I then moved the box into the Amber's run and sectioned it off so they could get closer, but couldn't peck at her or hurt her. This was like this for about 3 weeks. They are all well behaved when they free range together-although the bantum likes to be by herself, while the 3 girls wander elsewhere, but they are overall very good outside the coop. Tonight I decided to take the partition out and allow all of them to mingle within the same run, and all hell broke loose. The big girls (amber links) wouldn't leave the bantum alone-and its a good thing she could fly because she stayed up on the roosts so the Amber's wouldn't get her.
I don't know what I should do or how to make this transition any easier, and I do understand there will be some aggressive and possessive behaviors, but my big girls just seem over the edge! I am worried they will peck her to death. Are there certain breeds that shouldn't be housed together? I need some help big time, because I don't want my new one to get so stressed out that she becomes weak or dies.