13+ week old chickens are not accepting a new older hen.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iml8agn, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. iml8agn

    iml8agn Just Hatched

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    I had 6 chicks and two turned out to be roosters, so I found them a new home. I have three ISA browns and 1 black australorp. I went out and bought a new hen (BUFF orpington) who is about 16 weeks old. Being new to chickens and not doing research I just added her to the group and they immediately began pecking her. I separated her and did some research and realized I made a mistake and am not sure how, if at all, it can be corrected. During the day, we have kept her in the coop in a partitioned area. At night once they have all gone to roost in the hen house she flies over the partition we made and goes into the coop with no incident. We let them out in the morning and the other hens (two more than the others but will all join in when it starts) will start attacking her. So we are keeping her separate during the day. I tried putting a thin layer of Vic's vapor rub on her neck and shoulder area but it didn't seem to stop it much and I separated them again pretty quickly because I felt so bad for her. I'm considering putting the most aggressive one or two in the partition and then letting the new one with the others to see how that goes but don't want to make any more mistakes than I already have so I figured I would ask her how to pursue first. I really don't want to have to get rid of my new hen but don't want them to draw blood. HELP!!!!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Do you free range or keep the birds in a run? Do you have multiple feed stations? I'm assuming that you followed something along the lines in these links?
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

    For sure you can try and give the aggressors a time-out. It sounds like its the alpha female leading the aggression if they all join in.

    You could also try pairing off the newbie with a docile flock member during the day, within sight of the main flock.
     
  3. iml8agn

    iml8agn Just Hatched

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    I do let them free range when we are home but have not let them out for fear that they will drive the new hen off. I like your idea of pairing her with another one first. Maybe then when I try giving the aggressors a time out she will be more comfortable. Should I allow them to free range?

    She has her own food and water but in the main area, there is only the one place although I did put small feeder/water stations in the pen when I first tried to put her in but they didn't want her near either. The aggression does seem to happen more often when she goes for food or water. Thank you for sharing the article, I have hope after reading it, it's almost exactly what I'm going through!
     
  4. iml8agn

    iml8agn Just Hatched

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    4
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    Mar 30, 2017
    I do let them free range when we are home but have not let them out for fear that they will drive the new hen off. I like your idea of pairing her with another one first. Maybe then when I try giving the aggressors a time out she will be more comfortable. Should I allow them to free range?
    She has her own food and water but in the main area, there is only the one place although I did put small feeder/water stations in the pen when I first tried to put her in but they didn't want her near either. The aggression does seem to happen more often when she goes for food or water.
    Thank you so much for sharing that post about the rescued Buff, it gives me hope because it's almost exactly what I'm going through! Today being the end of 48 hours together, I will pair her with my nicest hen and see how that goes.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    There are no hens or roosters in this discussion. Birds are juveniles. That said you can get all to mix with a little time and minimal effort. Reorganize containment area so resident birds do not recognize it, then introduce new bird(s). No quarantine mentioned which could be used to aid process.
     
  6. iml8agn

    iml8agn Just Hatched

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    quarantine was another newbie mistake I made...but "that dog done hunt" as my husband says. What about letting them free range, will that hinder or help the integration. I was just afraid they would chase her off and see her as a weakling.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Juveniles generally only chase someone they do not know a short distance. I introduce groups free-range with each group having its own roost site for a about 3 days prior to the first release of new birds. New birds still displaced while foraging but have a roost to anchor their activities on during day and a location to retreat to at night.
     

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