agressive Rode Island Reds


6 Years
Sep 23, 2013
First I had 2 Rhode Island Reds that are about a year old now. This spring I got 3 more chicks, different breeds, and started introducing them to the "old" ones about 2 months ago. First, I would bring the young ones out into the yard but keep the old Reds in the coop cage. When I started to let them share the yard I had to watch closely since the Reds would not tolerate new chickens around. I expected that, but hoped that eventually they would accept them. They never have. They do not let them eat, drink or even go close by. What's worse, for some reason the Reds do not go into the coop in the evening. They come up and sleep on the ledge. I tried to teach them by putting them in myself, but they still won't do it by their own will. My pullets on the other hand, go in and sleep on the roost. As long as the Reds let them go in. With the cold weather coming, I would like to have them all in the coop in the night. I am worried though that the Reds will kill the young ones in the morning. Any suggestions? The pullets are about 6 months old now. My husband suggests making a good chicken soup with the Reds and making everyone's life easier.

D. Spokane, WA
Generally, the suggestion is to lock the chickens in the coop for several days to get them to associate the coop with home. Then they should go in at night.

You could get separate feeder and waterer for the new chickens so that the originals cannot monopolize the single set.

I have 2 feeders and water. It helps some. Yesterday I closed them in the coop in the evening. They were pecking on the young ones so much they those were flying around the coop screeching and I had to let the Reds out and let them sleep on the ledge again!
Some chickens just don't like others. Why, I don't know. Because we have bantams and standard-size chickens, we have two coops. Whenever we acquire new birds, I usually will put them in with the "Big" chickens and see how it goes for a week or two. If the "Big" chickens are being ferocious with the newbies, then I'll put them in the much more toned-down banty coop. All our picked on birds go there. Now, if it's the other way around, with the newbies refusing to get along with the "Big" chickens, then we'll eat or rehome them, because if they're being mean to the "Big" chickens, how will they treat our picked-on banty coop birds? You might just have to make soup out of your un-hospitable Reds.

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