Bullying hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by djswett, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. djswett

    djswett Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2009
    Bend, OR.
    We had a catastrophy at home and lost two of our three hens. Fortunately a neighboor was getting rid of his three chickens (about the same age) and we decided to take them along with their coop.
    Well, the new girls are quite the bullys with our surviving hen, and if it wasn't because she's a swift little road runner they would be really kicking her butt.

    The thing is that I want to merge coops so that they all sleep together. Don't really want to deal with two structures, two heat lamps, two lights, etc. Plus, i got the new hens so that our little survivor has 'friend' to cuddle with.

    I followed the advice from the different threads I read here, where you bring the girls in at night, and it didn't go to well. The new girls proceded to beat the crap out of their host and actually kicked her out of her own coop.

    What do I do now. Should I just make peace with having two coops? Should I try it in a couple of weeks again? (they've only been together for about 4 days). Should I just let them fight it and they will learn to resolve their 'differences'?


    If it's not one thing it's another. I invest more time, labor and brain power on these chickens that I have on anything else before in my life...

    B.
     
  2. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    I am paying attention to any responses on this one too. I have 1 hen that I am trying to introduce to my flock of 11 hens and a roo and it is not going well. They really get after her, so she is in a crate by herself for right now and they all free range, but she stays away from the rest.
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Did you start them out in adjoining runs for a week or two before you put them together at night? If not do that for awhile before letting them close enough for actual contact. Combining flocks is a time consuming pain in the rear, but it can be done. You just have to go slow. Good luck!
     
  4. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    Sounds like a good case for peepers. You can put these little plastic things on their beaks so they can't see well enough to peck each other. They still manage to eat fine. You can remove them later when they've learned to get along. I'd use them on just the mean ones.
     
  5. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    My solution works EVERYTIME without fail:

    CRAIGSLIST! [​IMG]
     
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    If they have only been together 4 days, that behavior is totally to be expected. If you can keep them separated by wire, but visible to each other for at least 2 weeks, preferably 3 or 4, things should go much better. Can you free-range them together? Do they have plenty of room and 2 feeders in their coop and run? It takes time for them to see each other as flockmates and not as a threat. Good luck, and things will only get better! [​IMG] Been there!
     
  7. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Yeah, I'm in the midst of it again too. Neighbor gave me a Banty and my 5 RRs are not real accepting yet.

    Chookchick is right, just keep them where they can see each other but not get to each other, free range together and every few days sneek her on the perch at night - give it a few weeks, they'll come around.
     
  8. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    OK, I am not an expert but since you tried the night thing and it didn't work as it was three against one, what if you only introduced one hen to your hen for a week or so (until they get along) and keep the other two separate from them. Then introduce the last two hens at night. Perhaps this would give them all an easier transition as the numbers would be even? [​IMG]
     
  9. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    Chickerdoodle:what if you only introduced one hen to your hen for a week or so (until they get along) and keep the other two separate from them. Then introduce the last two hens at night. Perhaps this would give them all an easier transition as the numbers would be even?

    Yes, what Chickerdoodle says, split up the three & 1 at a time.​
     
  10. djswett

    djswett Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2009
    Bend, OR.
    THings changed again.

    The day after I started this thread i tried putting all the hens together at night in the same coop and they started beating the crap out of our little survivor, so I just got them back out into their own coop which my neighboor had built.

    Well, that night, some coons came over with their crawbars and tools and broke off a 2 by 4 from the new coop, got in, and destroyed the three new girls that we had just gotten. It was a board that was hammered with two pretty weak nails, and those feaking racoons are on top of their game.
    They took 5 chickens in 1 week. A lot of death.

    Again, our little Sicilian Buttercup survived.

    Super sad, we didn't know what to do. Some days later a costumer at my work mentioned that he needed to get rid of two hens he had. A RIR, and an Ameraucana. So we took them.
    They spent about 4 days in a separate run (an eglu), and then after 2 days of hanging out all together, they became good friends and are now, by their own choice, sleeping together in the same safe coop. Three happy chickens.

    One coon got run over about 1 week ago around the block, and some fellow down the street apparently caught 5 of them and had them distroyed. Maybe they where from the same gang...
     

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