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Argh! Introducing a new flock to another or Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickenmagnet, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Chickenmagnet

    Chickenmagnet In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Newbie here city kid doing this chicken thang. Hi Everybody

    After having my new RIR (6) established in their new digs for a month.
    2 are 1 year old the others are 6month old pullets.

    I got the chicken craze confidence of 'get more ladies'

    So, I went on Craigslist....and went to see a flock of 2 Ameraucana, 1 silver Wyandotte, 2 Partridge rocks. These ladies where in a small small coop with barley any run. If you laid an old timey piano on its back...that was the size of what they lived in.
    The guy said his kids where bored with the birds so they where getting rid of them.
    Real backyard birds...with NOT enough room. He says they where 3 years old. 5 eggs a week.

    Now I cooped them for 3 days as instructed by my chicken expert. So, they get acclimated to the new home then find a safe place in the coop. Basically so they know where they live.

    Well, after the first day I noticed how mean the new birds where to each other. The Partridge rocks peck on the silver...the Amera's on the rocks and the silver. I thought it was stress of the new place then not having enough room. I thought the new larger space would cure this.

    So, we're on day 5. The new five after opening up their end of the coop to the rest of the birds and the run...they wont go outside. They checked the other end of the coop...but, they pretty much huddle in the corner when I go to the coop. When I'm inside they the scratch. But, when I leave or come back they huddle.

    In trying to encourage the others to run the yard. I put two threw the hen door. I go to the run...both the Amera's are getting beat up. Pecking at their heads. Blood and feathers. The Amera's where making submissive gestures but, the RIR didnt care they kept going at them.
    I naturally intervened. I also noticed the Amera's have crusted poo on their heinies. Otherwise they are gorgeous birds. And soft soft feathers.

    My RIR are magnificent. They follow me around. They watch me. Run up to me and even rub their little heads on me. Its cute as hell.

    Now two eggs. One broken. One eaten by one of the new birds.

    Am I just bird ignorant as hell or what?
    I need some insight and help here.
    I'm afraid I'm going to need to sell the new guys. So, they can be happy little guys.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for your time
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  2. Chickenmagnet

    Chickenmagnet In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Wow, I'm bummed with no replys
  3. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member 10 Years

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Welcome to BYC! On most message boards, it takes a while for threads to be replied to. Just be patient...

    By introducing the two new flocks to one another, you have just thrown the established "pecking order" in each group completely out of whack. Each flock had its own hierarchy, and the older birds are more experienced... Now they will be fighting one another until new ranks are established. It seems natural that the bigger birds will lord it over the smaller birds. The size of the bird and the bird's comb size usually have something to do with how dominant they will end up being in a flock. Smaller birds with smaller combs will be picked on by bigger birds with bigger combs.

    My advice to you would be to leave the birds together and let them sort things out. If you can, boot them all out into the bigger yard for a while to free range and stay outside with them so that they can forget about one another (have a little break) and explore and dustbathe. Treat injuries as you come across them, but there really isn't any way that you can make them "play nice" with one another. They have to figure things out for themselves.
  4. Chickenmagnet

    Chickenmagnet In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the reply

    I figured there would be pecking order issues. I just didnt think it would last so long or be so bloody ....even after the other chickens obviously gave up.

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