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Bossy, Mean barred rock hens (to other hens) please help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MysteryChik, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have two large coops. 15x17 feet each. Right now, one coop is only for a mama hen caring for her two week old chicks. The other has one BR rooster, three BR hens, and four other Mixed breed hens. For some reason, the BR hens are not accepting to the mixed hens. We kept them in there for a while in a separate large crate so that the chickens could get use to one another before letting them be all together. The BR rooster is fine with them, only trying to mate with them. BUT the BR hens will not let the chickens on the roost, chases them away from food, etc. They free range during the day but when it comes time for them to come in in the evenings, the poor mixes are bullied badly. Since they are not allowed on the roost, they are roosting at night on top of our nesting boxes, which of course is making a mess of those.. Any suggestions on anything I can do to make them "get along better"? TY in advance
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It's normal pecking order behavior when new birds are introduced. Multiple feeders and waters will help to reduce territorial tensions.
     
  3. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    thanks. do u think i need to build a separate roost as well? I assumed they would figure out the whole pecking order thing but its been over a month and they havent.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    That might help. Chickens take their social order very seriously, and new birds are usually at the bottom and have to work their way up. It can make things a bit tense in the flock for months. Once everyone settles into the new social order, things will be more peaceful. But it's a process that takes time.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    It probably looks worse to you than it really is...Pecking order in Chickens is mean...Once things get established they will be fine..I would put in a second roost...Right now you have two separate flocks that share the same area...
    Give it time...It could take months...

    Enjoy the birds...
     
  6. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are right. I'm sure it looks worse than it really is. There isn't any kind of actually fighting that I am aware of (thank goodness) no wounds, etc. I just feel so sorry for my little mixed breeds bc they are alot smaller than the BRs and to see them scared just worries me. I swear. I don't know much about chickens but my BRs (especially the roo) look HUGE!
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you have space for additional roost area, go ahead and add it. Something about the roosting time turns even nice birds into mean birds....it's a whole status thing, who sleeps where. If you can put in more space, it will help for the newbies to have someplace to sleep. Plus, I'm thinking eventually you're going to add the momma and the littles, they'll also need a place to sleep.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    well, we have two separate coops.. so mama and littles will probably stay in the other coop. (these mixes that are at the bottom of the pecking order right... now are actually the previous babies to the Mama that has just hatched again)
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The worst thing you can do is over think it.....Sounds like the whole flock is doing fine...Have no worries...Take a breath and just enjoy....The more you worry, the worse it will all seam...They are Chickens and know what to do to become a established flock...I just takes time!
    Integrate Mom and chicks once your feeling the time is right...Try free ranging her and the chicks first with you keeping a close eye on the entire process..

    Cheers
    Enjoy them....
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If your coop is large enough and you want one flock, I'd go ahead and put momma and babies in now. It will avoid the issues you're having with the older clutch. Momma will be there to integrate the chicks into the flock and they'll be pretty much a non-issue when they're grown. Just a thought.
     

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