Added 2 hens: Need advise/moral support

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Araucana, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Araucana

    Araucana Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2008
    Hello,

    I'm trying to make a new plan... We recently lost two hens (sob) and decided to add two to our small flock of friendly girlz (5 1/2 months old, one EE, 2 RIR). The two new ones are 4 months old and very sweet, a Barred Rock and a Black Australorp. We got them in the evening so they spent the night in a cage that I used as a brooder -not big enough to spend much time in. I divided the run in two (I thought) and added food and water so the old and new hens each had their own set. I felt this plan seemed pretty good though I was a bit startled by the hostility my girlz were sending even through the fence. I've been reading about all this on this forum, so I don't know why I'm so surprised. I had to go out with my kids and when we returned a few hours later, it was pretty crazy in there. They managed to tear the netting I attached to a fence that was already there. The new girlz were in the henhouse -one in the nest box hiding, and the big girlz were definitely bullying them. I let the big girlz out to roam the yard and the new girls are happy in the closed in run for now. But the clock is ticking and I have to figure out a plan for the night and the future, since my divided run was such a disaster. I wish a could borrow a big dog crate as others have done. But I fear that this first bad encounter will make the process harder and longer.

    Any suggestions? I'm trying to stay calm and methodical, and not flip out.

    If we work at this for a few weeks might they ever get along?

    THANKS!
     
  2. mistylady

    mistylady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Ohio near Coshocton
    If you have a Tractor SUpply near you they have rabbit cages for about 25.00. Then you add the legs and tray if you want. The cages are strong enough that no one can bite through them. My hens have been together for three days now and they still are tearig each other up.
     
  3. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    When adding new chickens you really should have a minimum 30 day quarantine, for the safety of your existing flock. That said, I have 2 *groups* of chickens, all hatched here. They still don't get along and the bigger ones always pick on the younger ones. They free range during the day, separately, and share a divided coop during the night. They are getting better but still aren't "friends". Good luck, hopefully someone can help you find a solution
     
  4. jacyjones

    jacyjones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    I never keep new separate from older as it is not practical for me to do this. I know about quarantine but I just have to take a chance. I got 4 new black rocks 2 weeks ago and put them straight in with my other girls. there was some pecking but there is enough space for them to have room to get out of each other's way and they all now get on fine. the new girls are a group and the old ones are a group so they do not free range together. they all sleep in the shed at night and get on fine.
     
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Don't get discouraged--someday they will get along, it just takes time. I picked up two new hens that immediately started bullying my younger ones. I'm sure I set back the intro process by putting them together too soon (and that was on purpose!) I ended up building a separate mini-coop and sectioning off the runs for 1 month before I put them together again. (I figured better safe than sorry). Is there any way you can section off the run with stronger wire, could you build some kind of box for them (I'll try to get a pic of the mini-coop?) One of the posters here talked about "Meet and Greets" if you free-range, maybe you could search for that. Good luck
     
  6. Araucana

    Araucana Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2008
    Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions and support. These new girlz are so sweet but I'm nervous that I'm a bit over my head. In the morning, I'm going to try and figure out a way to keep them separated for a while that isn't too complicated. Until tomorrow, the new girlz are roosting in the run...

    I have the cage I used as brooder, but it's kinda small (maybe 24 x 15) to keep them in for any stretch of time.

    Tanya
     
  7. Araucana

    Araucana Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2008
    Just wanted to give the 2 week later report.

    I made a netting barrier and kept the new sweeties separate from the original flock. It was indian summerish so they roosted outside under the roof of the run, on the window sill of the coop. Last night it seemed too chilly for that so after they were roosting I moved them inside. And tonight they are roosting side by side, and getting along reasonably well! I'm so happy.

    Thanks for all the advise. Keeping them separate, where they can see each other, but not peck each other eyes out really works.
     
  8. jacyjones

    jacyjones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    Good news - glad it all worked out well.[​IMG]
     

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