2 years of attempted chicken integration and counting

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cobrien, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    We had an interesting experience over the weekend...

    We have 2 very small flocks that have been separated for 2 years: "the old girls" are 3-5 years old (1 silkie, 1 handicapped cochin and 1 polish) and "the young girls" (3 BA's and 1 Marans), all about 2 years old. We first tried to integrate the 2 flocks when the young girls were full grown, but the young girls tried to kill the handicapped cochin and she couldn't get away. They have been separated by chicken wire within a big enclosed run for 2 years. Any time I have tried to let the young girls near any of the old ones (even the silkie and polish) there was serious fighting and blood was drawn on several occasions.

    The handicapped cochin died on memorial day. Since then I have had hopes of integrating the flock once and for all as she was the most picked on. However, a few weeks after the cochin died, the polish started relentlessly attacking the silkie. She has been in jail for the last week and a half to see if that helps.

    So this last weekend, the polish was in jail and the silkie was alone on her side of the coop. However the silkie really seemed to want to be with the young girls so I let her go in with them. They spent the entire day together in peace - this has NEVER happened before. Not one squawk all day. As recently as 2 weeks ago they were beating the same silkie up. The young girls always tried to beat her up. Something about the polish being gone made everyone get along. but the polish and silkie seemed to be equal at the bottom of the pecking order so I don't totally get it what's going on.

    If I put the polish back in, I am pretty sure that the young girls will attack her and the polish will attack the silkie. Argh! I am so close! Of the 4 young girls, 2 are the biggest bullies, 1 is docile and 1 goes both ways. And the polish now bullies the silkie. So isolating the bullies could be challenging.

    I have not tried pinless peepers and am thinking of putting them on the bullying young girls AND the polish. I could try to put them all together one last time before I do this. I don't know what else to try. Can they fly a few feet above the ground to get on a roost when they have the peepers on? i guess that's my only concern about trying them.

    I feed layer pellets, food scraps & BOSS, they don't have mites / lice / worms, and the 4 youngs have a huge oversized coop + 60s.f. of outdoor space and the 2 olds have 40 s.f. of outdoor space and an oversized coop as well. So I don't think space/food is the cause for my woes.

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  2. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    I don't have any direct experience with pinless peepers, but I hear that they can be effective in certain situations.

    Chicken dynamics can be confusing. If everyone is currently getting along, you could consider re-homing the Polish.

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