bully the hen and new babies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mechie chick, May 29, 2012.

  1. mechie chick

    mechie chick Hatching

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    ok i have a dominate hen that is now removed into another pen (close enough that she can see the rest of the flock)she was beating up the smallest hen so much so that she was staying in the coop most of the day and laying rubber eggs, and i added 3 new auracana girls that are a lil smaller than the rest, i am wondering if that is ok? they are not challenging the 3 other girls left in the pen they just run away, and are pecked a lil, any words of wisdom? o and i did add extra treats for the distraction?
     
  2. rachlore

    rachlore Songster

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    That was a good idea with the treats, but i suggest you slowly introduce the auracana girls in a small pen close by and let them all get aquainted with each other... like baby chicks[​IMG]
     
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  3. cassandralee

    cassandralee In the Brooder

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    May 29, 2012
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    Ya I agree with rachlore. You know when adding chicks to the flock of any age, if something serious is going to happen its usually within the first introduction, or first hours of intro. Pecking order can be rough! Or put them in a pet carrier inside the coop or run if you can and let them get used to eachother before intro! There is also another way. You add them at night when they are all asleep, and they wake up to more chickens in there. Its supposed to help. Or if you let them get aquainted outside of their coop while freeranging if possible, that way the other chickens can run away if needed. Or they say if you put them all in a box, or dark container, and you scare them a bit add the new chickens, and scare them... then that brings them closer together.. However.. I really don't like that last idea. lol. Good luck!
     
  4. mechie chick

    mechie chick Hatching

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    THANKS!! to both of you!! i had them in a pen next to the "big girls" for the past 2 weeks, i am wondering how long it takes to change the pecking order, and if my babies will be ok when i put the dominate hen back in the pen together.
     
  5. newfarmgirl

    newfarmgirl In the Brooder

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    Thats a great question and segues nicely into my question- so I am counting on expertise here! LOL. I have 5 hens in my small chicken run (about 1 1/2 years old) I have 5 new chickens ( about 7 1/2 weeks old). I have built a new run with much more space and a bigger house ( 8 nesting boxes worth and will hold 20 hens) My teenagers have been next to the older chicks for about a week and a half in an enclosed pen. It is only my RIR big girls that try to peck through the fence at the little girls. The other 3 could care less- so they have seen each other, smelled each other, etc.. My mature ladies are about 1/3 of the size larger than my teens. I have put my teens into the big coop and locked them up for the night so they will figure that this is where they should sleep.. How soon should I let the other ladies in? I would hate for them to hurt or kill a teen. Will all the new grass and forage be enough for them to ignore the teens? Should I wait until they are all the same size and slip them in at night? I hate for the big girls to miss out on all the bright new grass and bugs : ) Thanks!!!
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    To change the pecking order by removal, the the one you want to demote should be removed and out of sight and ideally hearing for at lest a week. If the remaining hens have settled a pecking order before you put the removed hen back they new hens should be alright, but watch.

    Newfarmgirl: You have a slightly different situation. With a new coop the young ones will have a home court advantage. However at 7-8 weeks they are to young to confront the older hens directly. Put some things in there to block the lines of sight and give the younger ones places to escape the hens. I'd wait until they are 10 weeks then put in the less aggressive hens, wait for another week or two and add the others. As aways observe when making the insertions.
     
  7. newfarmgirl

    newfarmgirl In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice Den...a few more weeks it is! They will see each other because the new coop is right beside the other one. Why do you say to not allow them to see each other? Will the big girls be mad? ( are they capable of holding a grudge?) The new pen is 25 x 25. I guess that isn't large enough for them get out of each others way yet, unlike free rangers, huh? I am thinking of adding them 2 at a time, or should I just go one at a time? A lot of specifics for you to answer, so I appreciate whatever you have. I have 6 new 1 week old chicks that will eventually have to be introduced, so it is good to have this figured out. Again- Thanks!
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    In your case you don't have a proven bully like mechie chick does. In that case if the bully can still see and be seen, she will still be remembered as part of the pecking order. Without an established order your adult hens should see and come to accept the younger ones right to live. You can go two ways in the introductions, Two introductions, the more laid back then the more active or aggressive ones. That means the younger ones not only have home court but numbers as well. Or wait till the youngsters are near adult size, then everyone at once. Either way should work. If you can put in two feeding and watering stations, one less thing to fight over. Grudges, interesting question. I should say in your case they haven't interacted yet so how can they have a grudge? That might be a good thread topic. Do chickens hold Grudges?
     
  9. newfarmgirl

    newfarmgirl In the Brooder

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    That WOULD make a good topic! Another thought...with my adult girls, I cannot tell who is in charge. hmmm. Isn't there always a dominant one? Could it be the one who tries to cluck like a rooster? (kind of a really weird sound. lol) And I am not really sure who is doing it. I also think some of my girls make a terrible sqwuaking noise but ,( buck, buck, buck awe!) periodically. When I go to investigate- they stop. At first I thought something was in the pen trying to attack, but nothing was ever there. Maybe the mice were in their feed? Do some hens squeak after they lay an egg? These may sound like ridiculous questions, but at 1 year chicken tending experience- I just don't know. I like to learn all I can and these voices of experience are invaluable. Thanks again!
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    Sometimes the dominant hen rules with an iron gauntlet others with a velvet glove. Sometimes a hen will tidbit for her chicks sounds a little like a rooster doing it. There have been threads on what sounds chickens make. If you did a search, I think you'd find many. They can make some strange, weird and to some ears wonderful sounds. Like the bawk bawk bawk bag gak Of the egg song.
     

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