Bad Chicken Mom

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MotherCluckher, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. MotherCluckher

    MotherCluckher New Egg

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    I've been working on intergrating our 3ish month old pullets with our 4 month old pullets. The bigs girls have only been using their "big girl" voices for a few weeks. The little girls are fully feathered, similar in size but still smaller and chirp like babies. So far everyone has been well behaved, after a few weeks keeping them in the run but separated we let them out to mingle while we watched and they really get along now. At night we've been closing them in the coop but letting the little girls choose the outer section of the coop while the big girls slept in the roost.

    Fast forward to tonight, I come out to close up the coop and all the girls are resting together on the same pole in the outer coop so I thought it might be a good time to have the little girls start sleeping the roost. So I shuffled them all into the roost and the alpha pullet ( we think she's slightly older than the others, she seems to be maturing faster) started really picking on the little girls, more so than I've ever seen her previously. So I opened the roost door, let the girls shuffle back outside to the pole and isolated Big Red in the roost by herself for the night.

    I feel like such a bad chicken momma, if I had let them alone I could have avoided all this. Do you think I should just let them choose where to sleep and leave it alone?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Both batches will remain separate sub flocks within a flock. It similar to us humans being in school where second graders don't hang out with sixth graders without getting into trouble. Don't ever force them together.

    I know we always want everyone to get along, but chickens function within a strict hierarchy where rules need to be followed of punishment will be doled out. The main rule is submissive members need to stay away from dominant members and to always give way to them. That's the main reason chickens shouldn't be crowded. There always needs to be room for them to stay away.
     
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  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Oh, and you're not a bad mommy.[​IMG]
     
  4. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    In my limited experience, no matter how old they are at integration, there is going to be some pecking. It usually doesn't last long and unless the age/size difference is extreme, no one is going to get hurt too bad. The hens higher up in status are always going to assert their dominance. We have 32 birds and they are all a year old as of this week. Some are just 2 weeks older than others but still peck the younger ones at times. Usually when they crowd up for snack time.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Just let them do as they are..;).....We sometimes put human emotions onto Chickens and it could not be further from the truth...;)......The young Birds understand the rules and once pecking order is really established, it works out....You are not a bad owner....:)

    Give it a few days to let them work it out.....


    Cheers!
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    As long as they have plenty of room (IMO 4 s.f./bird in the coop, 1 linear foot on the perch (though they will crowd up on the perch) they should be fine, and unless there is blood shed, let them work it out. Chicken social structure looks brutal to us. But, they are chickens, that's what they do.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^

    I'm guessing too many birds for that tiny prefab coop in the background.
     
  8. MotherCluckher

    MotherCluckher New Egg

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    I wanted to thank everyone for their feedback. I've given them a few days together choosing their own spots at night and I think they are all now sleeping together in the roost. Our 4 1/2-month-old pullets just produced a soft shelled egg during the night so we are starting to lay eggs already. Our coop is designed to hold 8 however we only have 6 chickens total, they seem pretty cozy inside the roost and we have a run around it for them to wander.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    So says the manufacturer.....almost always inaccurate.

    Wow, congrats, that's young to lay! Must be sexlinks?
     
  10. MotherCluckher

    MotherCluckher New Egg

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    The one I suspect is laying is one of our Plymouth Barred Rocks, we bought 3 PBR and 3 Ameraucanas at the same time from the local feed store but this one seems to mature about 2 weeks faster than the others.

    2 of our Ameraucana's from that original batch ended up being roosters so they went to homes in the country and we bought 2 more Ameraucana's to replace them.

    We originally only wanted 4 but got 2 extra just in case something happens.
     

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