Bully Chicken..Please help!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ajaba5, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. ajaba5

    ajaba5 New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    Hi Everyone! I am having a huge problem introducing one of my chickens to three new ones.

    Back story: I started with three chickens-2 Barred Rocks and 1 Rhode Island. When I was away on vacation a raccoon got into the coop and killed my 2 very sweet Barred Rocks, leaving me with my not-so-sweet RIR.

    After fortifying the coop, I got three new middle aged chicks. I've had them for over a month.

    I started by keeping them in separate cages so they could look at each other for about two weeks.
    After that, I would put them together at night, but continue to separate them during the day.

    At this point the chicks are nearly full grown, but I have not been able to get past this stage, because my RIR continues to attack them. When they are all kept together she keeps them locked in the coop where there is not any food or water.
    Things are a little better when I free range, but sometime she will chase them into the forest and not let them come out.

    Some questions for those with experience in this...

    If the chicks get hungry/thirsty enough will they come out of the coop and stand their ground? Or in other words, am I maybe interfering too much??

    When I had my original three, the RIR was actually at the bottom of the pecking order. Is there a chance that once some adult hormones kick in, one of the chicks switch from running to standing her ground against RIR?

    I have looked around on this sight and think I am tried most of the suggestions on there. Any other insights or ideas you may have will be much appreciated!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Put the bully in a cage, and let the younger ones have the run of the place for at least two weeks. That might change things up for you.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Great place to start^^^^

    Here are some other things to think about:

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  4. ajaba5

    ajaba5 New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    Thank you for the tips chicmom and aart!
    I will give it another go. I love the crate idea with the small hole for the little ones to go in and out of!
     

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