Battle between the old and the new?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickens And Me, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Chickens And Me

    Chickens And Me Hatching

    Oct 23, 2013
    Somewhere in Michigan
    Hi Everyone, My wife and I bought 4 RIR hens from a craigslist ad which were raised together from chicks this past spring by another owner.. These were our first chickens and were very nice to eachother and quiet. We have had them about a month.

    Less than two weeks ago we bought a couple of 1 year old or so cochins to have a calmer bird that we could hold and have be more of a "pet"

    The problem we are encountering is that these birds (Cochins) which are much bigger that the RIR's...are being pecked constantly, chased non stop, and what seems like over the top bullied. :( Many times I look out our window into the run and see them scared and huddled in a corner getting pecked non stop, or running around and around trying to get away from the RIR's. They are so nice and docile with no retaliation.

    I don't think they are getting much food from the feeder due to the Reds bullying them away. (I usually isolate the Cochins with the food a couple times a day so they can eat in peace)

    The other day, the ladder from the run into the coop had fallen down maybe due to them bumping it while being chased (they are still able to jump/flap up into the doorway)...but one of the cochins was sitting half out of the doorway with all the reds surrounding her, and the other was huddled in the corner of the run under the if she was not allowed in.
    It makes us really sad and frusterated to see this...I understand there is a pecking order...but JEEZE ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

    We have taken the calmest of the Cochins (salt) inside the house for now and given her as much food/water/worms as she can stand, as well as a diaper :) . The other Cochin we got with her (Pepper) was also picking on her, so we thought it best to take her out of there.

    We are not sure what to do at this point, as it's clear that they are at the bottom of the order, and it's not getting any better.
    The only time things seem ok is when they are free ranging in our back yard during the day. They all seem to mind their own business and spread out, although they occasionally get chased or pecked.

    The RIR's are our egg layers, and consistantly lay 1 a day each, and are the reason we have chickens. We occasionally get one from the Cochins. Any ideas or suggestions? We have butchered some free chickens we picked up from craigslist, and are not against doing so with the ones that are not working out, although we are quite partial to the sweet Cochins.

    Thank you all for taking any time to read this or reply with comments!


    Kung Pao



  2. imogene08

    imogene08 Chirping

    May 12, 2013
    They are working out pecking order I believe.How long has this been going on?it lasts around a week or so before they start to accept unless the fight back.Happened with my big BO it toke about a week or 2 before they finally accepted her.
  3. Chickens And Me

    Chickens And Me Hatching

    Oct 23, 2013
    Somewhere in Michigan
    Thank you for the reply, It has been going on since day 1...which is almost 2 weeks now.
    I was just reading another thread about a RIR pecking a new sussex that was introduced, and peoples reply to that thread.

    Seperating the run or yard is feasable, although having another coop really isnt, although we have a small one that we bought when we first got chickens. We just built a nice insulated one for he winter here in Michigan, and I was hoping everyone would get along and share that coop, instead of two birds being cold in the cheap small one from tractor supply, while the others are nice and warm in the new one.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    If you have a dog cage or other instrument to keep the meeker cochin in inside the coop for up to a week it will help. The others will become acclimated to her without the pecking. Sure there will still be some pecking order once you let her out to mingle with others and use the coop but not as severe as it's been.

    RIR's were the hardest birds to accept new comers in my experience. They are simply relentless until certain the new bird knows it's place in flock is at the bottom.
  5. Ashdoes

    Ashdoes Songster

    Jun 11, 2012
    Peyton, CO
    Cochins are a very calm, gentle breed....they will almost always be at the bottom of the pecking order. Mine get picked on quite a bit. Having a second feed station helped, and just making sure everyone has enough room. I love my Cochins, but sometimes feel bad when the Creams, who are way younger and smaller, bully them away from the food. It's a hard problem to fix.

  6. Chickens And Me

    Chickens And Me Hatching

    Oct 23, 2013
    Somewhere in Michigan
    Thank you for the replys! The coop we built doesnt have enough room to put a small kennel in due to the roosts and feed area, and the big side door for us to access it all. It's big, but not THAT big.

    Right now we have the feeder put on a cinder block in the corner, and secured to the ceiling, so only half of the feeder is available due to the corner...I will try hanging it in the center of the coop so everyone can enjoy, and hopefully they can share.

    Thanks again,


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