added to flock but not getting along

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sammysam, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. sammysam

    sammysam Out Of The Brooder

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    Just added two 6 month old pullets to my eight 4 month olds and a 5 month old roo but they arent getting along. The two stay away from the rest but the others come by pecking at them and chasing them around. What do I do? Will they be alright? Will they eventually get along? Please give some advise as this is all new to me.
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is recommended as normal procedure when adding new chickens to your flock, that after quarantine (i hope you quarantined), that you house them in such a way that the original flock and the newcomers can see each other but not attack each other. The time frame may be different depending on the nature of your birds and other factors. I would try a week to begin with and then try putting them together again.

    It is natural for the original birds to be territorial, and probably some pecking will ensue no matter what, just as part of the pecking order establishment.
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Just part of the pecking order for the flock. Watch them closely that the older group does not starve out the younger ones, I always keep 2 feeders and 2 water dishes in each coop just incase this problem arises and believe me it can happen.

    Yup hope you quarantined!
     
  4. sammysam

    sammysam Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2009
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    Didnt quarantine. What was I supposed to do? Hope I didnt danger any of them. Are they going to be alright and is there anything I can do or is it too late? Once again dont know much about raising chickens. Please help.
     
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well if you didn't you didn't. Don't stress about it now, just watch both sets for any illnesses. People went for years without doing it and while it's the best thing to do now that we know more, what's done is done in this case.

    Having two who are now lowest on the pecking order is better than a single. at least they can pal around together while avoiding the others. As long as they aren't getting nasty enough to draw blood, a peck and some squacking is very normal. If they get too too violent, you can go several different ways...

    First, (and my personal choice) If it's one or maybe two most dominant hens being bad, then take those out and put them in a crate or seperate area to give the new girls a break and allow the others to make friends with them. They'll likely be nicer without the bossiest ones to start trouble... this will also take the top hens down a peg or two by taking them out of the mix.

    Or, (this one has value too) you can just wait another day or so, (if they aren't roosting together tonight, go in tonight (semi darkness, use a dim flashlight) and slip them in among the old girls, sometimes they wake up in the morning and things go smoother)

    Third, (and least value IMO) take the two newest ones out for a while and try again later. Problem here is, it'll just start all over again... unless you have a next door pen they can stay in a while and see and meet and greet close enough ... that has some value.

    //edit// it took close to a week last time I merged groups for the worst of the meanness to stop, and then a couple more weeks for them to start to really mingle. now after several weeks they still break up obviously into their old groups, so don't expect them to be bff anytime soon! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Nothing you can do at this point but watch for signs of illiness from your flock. Sometimes it happens and best to be safe than sorry.
     
  7. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:As PortageGirl said, you've kind of already not quarantined (some would probably say to go ahead and quarantine now anyway, but i'll let you decide).

    For future reference, when bringing a new bird or birds to your flock, you should quarantine them for a minimum of 30 days to observe them and then put just one of your regular flock in with them for another 30 days to see if that bird gets sick from exposure to the new birds.

    Many birds may carry diseases that they are not currently exhibiting symptoms for, but the exposure to non-carrier birds (i.e. your flock) could wipe out an entire flock very quickly. There is a long list of reasons for quarantining. And you're in the right place to learn.

    I suggest starting here, https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=129278, for some basics. SpeckledHen has a LOT to say about biosecurity. Use the search function in the blue bar at the top to search for threads about quarantining and biosecurity to read and learn all you can.

    At this point, i would likely do as PortageGirl suggested and just watch everyone for any symptoms of illness, though i'm not sure whether it might be less dangerous to your original flock to go ahead and quarantine now. It's hard to say.
     
  8. sammysam

    sammysam Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2009
    hawaii
    Thanks for all the info. Next time I will know what to do. Now I will keep a close eye on them.
     

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