Bully hens keeping new layer out of nest boxes.... Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Delight30, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Delight30

    Delight30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 5 28 wk old hens that have been laying about 6 wks now and 5 22 wk old girls that just started laying. My problem is the older hens won't let the new girls in the next boxes, even if it is a nest box they don't use. I have to kick the older girls out of the coop until my new one is finished laying. Any help would be great! The 5 older girls are a bunch of bullies and they have all been together in the new 60x60 coop for 4 months now. Not sure what to do. If it was just one or two hens I would put them in jail, but I don't know how to stop those 5 girls from being so mean...... We have 5 nest boxes to 10 hens, only 6 of them are laying right now. The other 4 should start any day now.
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You need to put a couple of new nests in your coop if you have room. Put the nests on the other side of the coop. The older hens will probably stay in the old nests.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If they were mine, I'd treat the whole bunch the way you'd treat a single bully, and remove them completely for a week or so. But then I have a fenced garden with a tool shed where I could put them for that week, at least at this time of year. Wish I had another suggestion.
     
  4. Delight30

    Delight30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a group of 5 maybe 6 pullets at 13 wks I am getting ready to introduce to the big chicken house, do you that will help. If I didn't have a couple cockerels in my young group, I would put those girls in the grow pen for a while....

    I will try that and see if that helps. I put a new single nest box out in the run area but no luck... Our coop is split into 2 equal parts and the little ones roost and sleep in the run area, while the mean girls roost in the coop.
     
  5. Delight30

    Delight30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Could I put that group of 5 in with the 2 young cockerels? Would that create an issue?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If they are old enough to mate, the pullets may get overmated and get injured from this. Also, two cockerels together are a lot more likely to fight each other with females available. Can you put one cockerel in with each group?
     
  7. Delight30

    Delight30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are not old enough to mate yet, not sure how long it will be until then. My EE roo just started about 2 wks ago and he is 22 or 23 wks old now. He is currently in with the 10 girls. I just wonder if the mean hens will beat up on the 2 young cockerels.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You're dealing with a whole lot of individual personalities. Yes, chickens are all different. But then you have "unit" personalty also. What this means is you will need to try something to solve the problem, and if it doesn't work, try something else. What I would do is keep all the ideas you get here, and try them out one at a time until you hit on one that works.

    I would try providing a couple of new nest boxes in a location as far away from the original nests for starters. If the new layers insist on trying to use the old boxes, lift them out and carry them to the new box and place them in it. Repeat until they get used to the idea.

    Any time you have a management problem like this, you may as well accept that it's going to require a bit of time and effort. Or you can just ignore them and let them all sort it out on their own. Depends on how much you feel you need to get involved.
     
  9. Delight30

    Delight30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you so much for your input. If I could stay out of the coop, I would let them sort it out themselves... but they are so mean. I have added a new box in the run area and separated the 2 groups, small ones in the run and mean girls in the coop and out pen. I am thinking if I don't give the little ones access to the old boxes, maybe they will use the new one I put out there. If that doesnt work, will continue to try all other idea's until I find the right one. Thank you all again so much.
     

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