Advice please - bedtime integration

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JesseK, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. JesseK

    JesseK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,
    After a dog attack I was left with one pullet, Ruby. She lived alone until about 3 weeks ago when I put 8 new chicks out with her. They were about 5 weeks old. We started them in the coop for a day, and then let them out into the run. They haven't been going to bed by themselves - we have to put them away. Tonight I watched them all try to go in the coop, and Ruby chase them out. Once she is asleep and we put them away, she leaves them alone. Is there any way to help her accept them? She definitely bosses them around during the day, and gives them some hard pecks, but she doesn't chase them or corner them. There hasn't been any blood drawn. I was surprised at how aggressively she chased them out of the coop - she is NOT letting them sleep with her.
    I'm hoping I don't have to wait for them to get big enough to fight back...that could take a while.

    I'm open to any ideas! It's getting too cold to go chicken wrangling every night!

    Thanks :)
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes they will get more assertive when they are 8-10 weeks old (any day now but yes may take them longer than that)...just a waiting game until they grow some. Just keep doing what you are doing, is what I'd do.

    However, if you want the least worries, integrate when the youngsters are 4 months old. Yep that long (I'm not advocating doing that as Ruby would be so very lonely). So I'd be very happy that she isn't pecking them badly or anything.

    I believe this will solve itself as the youngsters age.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  3. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
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  4. JesseK

    JesseK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. Hopefully this means that the end is in sight! Yes, I was hoping that Ruby would be happy to have company - but she just seems very annoyed, ha.

    We will wait a while longer and see if they start standing up for themselves.
    Thanks!
     
  5. Snag

    Snag New Egg

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    I had read somewhere (it may have been here) that there is nothing like a big fuss to bring a flock together. I spent the day cleaning out my coop and raked their yard the day I integrated a new group of pullets in with my established flock and I feel it helped. They say nothing brings people together like a crisis, don't see why chickens would be any different. [​IMG]

    Do you keep their feed in the coop? I wonder if she is chasing them away from the food. One of my older hens will rush at the younger ones when I toss scratch out into their yard. Plenty of food for all but still, the older girl would rather keep the youngsters from eating rather than take the time to enjoy the snack herself. Of course the youngsters get plenty because she can't chase them all but by the time she's done chasing them, most of the scratch has been eaten. Silly girl!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  6. chinzilla

    chinzilla Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. JesseK

    JesseK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ha! Ruby chases the youngsters away from the food/scratch/water/dust bath/this spot/that spot...if they are enjoying themselves, she must put an end to it.

    I don't keep the food in the coop - it is in the run. I put a few of the chicks in the coop early one night before Ruby was sleeping to see what would happen and she attacked them pretty good.

    One of the chicks is a surly GLW rooster...I'm hoping he was start talking back to her soon.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote: Oh she's in for it for sure! [​IMG]
     
  9. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Might I suggest that you put Ruby into a cage or partition, for a few days, while the younger chicks have the run of the coop. That way, she might realize that it is nicer to share. It will also give the chicks chance to learn to put themselves to bed. Just my 2 cents worth.[​IMG]
     
  10. JesseK

    JesseK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think that would lessen her aggressiveness? At this point they do want to go to bed, she just hurts them when they do.

    I'm up for trying anything
     

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