Brand new flock....help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dwegg, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. dwegg

    dwegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok...I am BRAND new to this. Just got my girls last Saturday and I have a million questions but will filter them to my most pressing for now.

    Background...I got my first girl from a chicken swap last Sat. (4mth Blue Orpington) who is THE sweetest girl (Sally:love) - eats out of my hand, lets me pat her and will jump up for a cuddle already from day 1. You can tell she was hand raised and cared for.
    I then stopped at a great little farm and bought my other 4 girls (ameracuna 5mths, ameracuna 15mths, buff orpington 13mths, SLW 13mths) all great looking girls. But they are scared of me but I have been handling them all and patting them most days to try and get them used to me (except the SLW - she is very scared of me and sort of scares me a little!).
    They are all new to the coop and all new to each other. Came from different pens.

    Questions:

    1. The Buff Orpington fought and pecks at everyone (yes pecking order and all that, but she still is not nice to the others) I know it has not even been a week but every night when I put them to bed she is sitting by herself on the perch, the other three large girls sit together on top of the nesting boxes and my sweet Sally (the youngest cant get up on the nesting boxes) takes her bed in one of the nesting boxes.
    I am worried that she is not getting along with the others and that the others are scared of her. Could she stress the others out? So much that they would not start laying in their new home? I am already thinking that if things don't improve I might have to get rid of her!

    2. I am worried about Sally - the young hand raised orpington. She seems to miss having a close friend and personal contact. She will follow the other young ameracuna around and stick close by when she can with her. The others, including the young ameracuna will peck at her. I can't tell if she has any injuries (I tried to check her tonight but it was already dark when i got home. will she be ok and will the others settle down and let her be part of the flock?

    3. None of the girls are laying, or even gone into the nesting boxes?[​IMG] I don't really want to put extra light on for them and 'make' them lay, I would rather it just happen when it happens.

    4. Can I begin to let the girls out to roam around the yard this weekend? Is that enough time for them to know where they 'live'?

    5. I feed the girls high protein layer pellets and give them scratch in the mornings when I let them out for the day in the run and when i try to handle them - although none take it from me except Sally. What is mash? as compared to pellets and is there a difference?

    Phew!!! let's start with this first...thanks for your help and thoughts on this...
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  2. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    Congrats on your new flock and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I have gotten my 2 batches of chicks as "day old" so I know very little about adding new hens to a flock. I think it's a good idea to let them out to explore the yard though. Let them get comfortable with the place and with each other. They are likely stressed which could be why they are not laying. Lots of changes for them... new home, new roommates etc. They will adjust. It will just take time. Keep an eye on em though to make sure no one is being bullied away from food or water.

    I have 3 GLW and they are very stand-offish. Your SLW sounds similar. [​IMG] It's probably just a breed thing.

    Treats seem to unite everyone in my flock. [​IMG] My girls go crazy for over ripe bananas! I've heard others say the same about grapes.

    There are a lot of variations of mash but I make it with their usual feed, yogurt, honey, apple sauce or mashed banana, a splash of buttermilk if I have it. Just make it kind of sloppy.

    Let us know how things go!

    Godspeed,
    Laura
     
  3. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    Quote:
     
  4. dwegg

    dwegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Loreli and Conservachick...it was a relief that this happens to others with reguard to the girls behavior. I just want ALL of them to have a great life. I guessed that they were still a bit 'shell-shocked' by their move and new room-mates ect. The egg thing is not a big deal to me BUT I would LOVE just one to know that they can lay!!!! lol....
    It is sad to see my Sally so desperate for a friend but everyone ignores or pecks at her. I was thinking of getting another hand raised girl about the same age for her to have a buddy and put them together for a while before letting them in with the other 4?
     
  5. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    I think getting Sally a hand raised gal about her age is a great idea! But please be careful. You should quarantine new additions to your flock so that you don't introduce any illnesses, mites, etc.

    How are your girls doing now?

    Loralei
     
  6. dwegg

    dwegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well my girls have settled down and everyone seems to be getting along (mostly). Sally is doing great! She has grown a lot compared to the others and is quite big now. I did introduce 2 new chickens that were hand raised... a RIR and a blue dominique! Now they all pick on the blue dominique but not too much...RIR is very big and they mostly leave her alone. Sally seems to like all the girls and has become friends with most (even the top girl). The RIR is even more friendly than Sally and I LOVE HER!

    NOW...I have an Ameracuna who chases the new Blue Dominique AND is pecking the tail feathers out (making her bleed) of the other Ameracuna...!!!

    I gave the injured hen a bath and sprayed some medication on her and I haven't noticed her being pecked at at the moment...will have to check today after work.

    The girls do stress me out...making sure they have treats everyday, i worry that their nest boxes are wrong and that is the reason that they are not laying or that the coop is too dark, or that they are fighting, or that they want to come out and free range but i feel that must be out there with them ect...

    i know that they are menat to be fun and not cause stress so i guess that I just have to relax and accept that they will be fine.

    But still no eggs!
     

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