Adding three new hens - and they are terrified. :(


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 9, 2013
Poor girls...
One hen will not leave the new ones alone, and the poor things just stay "cooped up" in the small hen house all day. I took the two most dominant hens out and put them in a different pen today. Is that what you all would recommend? (I have 3 Americaunas. Introducing 2 more, plus one Russian Orloph.) Help! : ) They just look so scared and stressed. Being chased and pecked (not dangerous, just relentless) is no fun. Not a very warm welcome from my existing girls.
Hello. I will be facing this very thing soon. I've read on here that if you separate the one that is being a bully for a few days to a week (with their own food and water, of course), it can knock them down the chain of command a bit and hopefully settle them a little. Chickens will definitely be chickens, but sometimes they are completely relentless. When I introduced 4 newbies that were about a month younger than the other 13, they were around 12 wks. old. For a few weeks they were in a huge dog crate in the middle of the coop. I gradually started letting them out every day for a while with supervision to get to know the others. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. After about a week, things were fine and I didn't feel the need to watch over them so carefully. The newbies are still at the bottom of the pecking order but they all get along like big girls now. Definitely helps the more space you have so they can run away if needed. I had to offer food and water on either side of the coop to make sure that the newbies got to eat and drink. My coop, however, does have lots of space. 50 feet long and 20 feet wide. The run is the same size. Good luck to you!
I have a large roo, a cockoomoran, and 3 hens and felt he needed more women, so I brought home 2 large red hens that I just purchased and my roo is wanting to attack them like the enemy! I thought he would get over it but not yet, so I have separated the 2 new hens inside the yard. A couple of the other girls seem to want to take on his aggressive behavior. Any suggestions on how to get them to get along and used to each other? A long time ago I had one rooster kill a new big hen, but had forgotten that aggression until today. I really like these new hens. Also when I wear my long robe in the morning to let him out of the coop, sometimes he wants to attack me and he has hurt me before, but backs off when I get firm with him. Mostly he is good though. He has those pointy spurs, is that something that can be clipped so the points are dull? I think he has hurt another hen with those. I don't have a big yard, so I need us to all get along.
Your instincts are good as far as refereeing chickens. It really does work to separate the trouble makers for a spell. Also, protecting the newbies in their own enclosure within the run works very well. You can get more hands on with a squirt bottle of water or a paddle on a long handle to interrupt aggression as it occurs. Just interrupt forward motion with the paddle, not hit them with it! This latter works well for disciplining naughty roosters.

His long spurs can easily be either filed down with a Dremmel tool or twisted off. Just place the roo on your lap and grab the spur with pliers at the base and gently twist back and forth until it loosens. Then just lift it off! Easy as pie! The tiny, fleshy nub may bleed a little. Just coat it with corn starch and it'll stop. Later you can clean it and put Neosporin on it to keep it protected until it hardens in 24 hours. The spurs grow back and you will need to do it again, but not for a year, at least.

I wish I had removed my roo's spurs. He wouldn't have hooked them on the roost as he was dismounting and broken his leg.

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