adjusting to new hens in the flock ...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by familyguy, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. familyguy

    familyguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2009
    Hi ... I am new to backyard chickens, but I have three 1.5 yr old ladies (2 RI Reds and 1 Golden Cross) that have been together most of their lives and this past weekend I got two Barred Rock pullets that are just starting to lay. Since I introduced the Barred Rock hens to the group the others have been picking on them, chasing them and generally being mean! ok, I know that they need to establish a new pecking order - but how long does this take and is it normal that the old pecking order gets thrown out too? It seems like the other three have begun being more agressive to each other as well. Is there anything I should be doing to ease this transition? They share a 4x4 coop at night, but during the day they have pretty much free range to go where they want - I do have the yard fenced, but they have a big yard to scratch and peck in. Any thoughts from anyone out there? Thanks.
    Jim
     
  2. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Hello
    You know its really hard to tell you what to do because each chicken has their own personality..I find when i get new chickens after quarinteening them I put them outside in a dog cage during the day(food/water/shelter) so the others can see them and when I give treats I give them to the caged chickens first and throw some down on the ground around the caged chickens and I then place the chickens that are new in a cage in the coop (food/water)..so they see each other in the mornings ..then when I have time to sit and watch one day I'll let them go together ...yes theres going to be pecking and aggressive behaviour ...puffing up and attacking with the feet....but just watch and see if there picking on the same one ...drawing blood....sometimes I'll put them back in a cage and place them on the roost at night so they'll wake up together ...but remember to check and see how everyones doing firast thing in the morning ...hope this helps ....Good Luck!
     
  3. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    I introduced 2 pullets at age 10 weeks (after 4 weeks quarantine) to my group of 4 hens (they are about 17 weeks older). For the first couple of weeks I had an area of the big coop sectioned off, they could see each other but not get to each other close enough to hurt one. The first few days were a lot of squawking and posturing. After a week I figured they should be OK to be together....under supervision. The older girls chased thm and pecked on the RIR. Not bad enough to injure her but the little ones were clearly intimidated. So I kept them apart for another week except for supervised time. The older girls pretty much roamed the yard and the little ones stayed in the coop with the door open. They still do not roost together (after 5 weeks), the fencing was removed after almost 3 weeks (pullets 13 weeks old and a good size). The younger ones still don't roam the yard with the others but they do go outside and go in the covered run as well. They are lowest on the pecking order. No pecking anymore but the older chickens still chase them away from treats. I have food and water in several areas so they all have access. I hope that in another few weeks they will be more integrated even if they stay low on the pecking order. Interstingly enough the worst posturing, pecking and chasing came from the 2 lower ranking 'old' chickens. I only have these few chickens so I really don't know if this is 'normal' behavior.... [​IMG]
     
  4. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Woodinville,WA
    My Coop
    Quote:I did it kind oflike this too, and it took almost two months for them to all get along. They are fine now, but the new ones still stick together and sometimes get chased away from treats. I also put them in multiple places in the run for them. One thing I did do that helped a little, was "chicken jail". I put the worst offenders in seperate cages for a few days, then added them back in one at a time, one,one day, then the other one the next. I had two offenders, you may only have one that is the worst. Hope this helps.
     

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