2 new hens that I added to my little flock....trouble in paradise.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shannonb1, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. shannonb1

    shannonb1 In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2009
    The two new hens I added to my flock (both are 19 weeks)....one is a Rhode Island Red and she acclimated just fine, but the EE is not so lucky. She is sooo timid they pick on her and she won't come off the roost.. I have to hand feed her (food AND water) when I get home from work. Either that or she flies out of the pen and wanders around the yard/pasture until I get home and put her in for the night. The rooster will attack her if she's on the lower perch.....so she sits up high.

    Will they ever get along/am I catering to her too much?

    [email protected]!
  2. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    Did you isolate them for 30 days prior to adding them to your flock?

    You may have to put them in a smaller pen inside the coop so that they can get use to her, without her getting hurt.

    They could end up hurting her badly.
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    New chickens don't automatically become "part of the flock". It takes a while for them to be accepted. If you can do as Cammy suggested and pen off a portion of the coop and run, so that they are visible but separated, that would be best. Keep them apart for 2-3 weeks and try again later. It is vital that the EE has access to food and water all the time (not just once a day), without risk of getting hurt. If you free-range, you might be able to get them to assimilate faster, but in a pen, it takes a while.
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Quote:I did this and it did not work. The hen that was getting picked on stayed away and I fed her separately. I stayed in the coop while she had her fill because they would try to chase her away. After she went through molt and started laying eggs they left her alone.

    I had done the cage thing with6 other pullets for 3 months and everytime I let them out they would get pounced on by the 3 older ones. I put them in chicken jail. Which was actually the cage the pullets where in, in the coop. They had very little room. And they had to watch the others have free space and all the food they could eat and treats too. The ones in jail got fed once a day and no treats. I let them out after 2 days and they pounced again. So they went right back. Another day and only one pounced so the offender went back to jail. Two days later i let him out and he wouldn't go near the little ones. He will occasionally give them a quick peck as if keeping them in order but he doesn't try to kill them like he used to.
    Give it a try. Worked for me in less than a week where the other method never worked.

    It helps if it isn't many that are being bad chickens. Easier to punish. I tried the holding them by their feet upside down and walking around the coop. Kinda like a humiliation treatment and it didn't work. Just made him mad at me.
    I'm one of those that talkes to the chickens when I get around them. My family thinks i'm crazy. If I get one that thinks it's gonna peck me I grab it by its neck and make it look me in the eye and tell it, I'm boss here not you. Yep, thats me, the crazy lady but it works for me.
  5. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    I've found that if it is a "you against them" thing, holding them upside down, etc. works.

    If it's bird-on-bird aggression, however, showing them that you're the boss doesn't help much, as you're not in the run all day. It doesn't change their behavior towards other birds when you are not around.

    What I do for the bird-on-bird problem is to hold the worst offenders down in the run, and the others will rush in and take some free shots. After a bit of this, keep holding them down, but shoo the others away as they approach, then let the offender up. Sometimes it helps tone down their agression towards other birds if you make them vulnerable. Sometimes you need to do this once or twice a day for several days in a row.

    Doesn't always work with the worst offenders, but I've had some good results with this, especially in settling down that "early adult" stage agression.
  6. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Quote:I just bought 3 young roos a little over a week ago. One is a frizzle/japanese bantam. He is 3 months old. I let all 3 out together not thinking there would be a problem because that one was raised with another one I got. But wasn't with the older one. That little frizzle went after the stranger even though he is 3X his size and just wouldn't let up. Good thing the other one is a silkie with lots of feathers. He didn't get hurt a bit but didn't fight back either, just tried to get away. He won't be joining the flock although he could hold his own in a few months with the other 2 but he would probably incure serious damages. The 3 roos I got will have their own hearam in separate enclosures thank goodness. I don't have to deal with fighting roos. I just don't allow it. If the aggression had been going on when I wasn't around there would be damage the way those 3 where going at it. I checked everybody everyday for several weeks and all was fine other than a few feathers pulled out but no bald spots. That EE roo would walk up and peck at the fluff on their heads and pull out a few. One he managed to pull out all but 1 of her tail feathers. I suspect they will start laying soon. He has left most of them completely alone.
    If I have anymore problems I'll try your approach also. I really don't want to condone aggression and let them know it's OK to beat him up.
    They've got to have pecking order. It's natural amoungst animals and humans alike. Brutality isn't acceptable.
  7. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    EM -

    What I recommended often works well for hens. Sometimes it will work with young roos, and sometimes nothing will work to get roos to get along, short of completely isolating them from hens so that they have nothing to fight over (and sometimes that won't even work).

    I've had success at times with having roos develop a pecking order, and being able to exist together in a flock, but some roos just never will work out in that sort of situation. It's their nature to fight over females, and some are much more agressive, or much less willing to accept a subordinate role than are others.

    With roos, I think it comes down to the individual birds. Sometimes they can work out a relationship, sometimes they can't and you have to decide who stays, and who goes to Camp Kenmore.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009

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