Can I ask y’alls opinion?

unbaked pegga

Songster
6 Years
Nov 22, 2014
391
161
181
Mt Juliet Tn
I have 3 buff Orpingtons, big fluffy birds. Last spring I bought 3 Australorps. Only one survived. She is about 2/3 the size of the others. I raised her in a cage and gradually introduced her to the other girls and it has not an easy transition. But she started laying mid summer (in a nest box on the porch). Cute little eggs every single day. I just adore her. She is my favorite, but the other 3 hens are giving her a hard row to hoe. I put her in the chicken coop about 3-4 weeks ago. This was after letting her free range with the others until dusk then she would come to the back porch and roost on the back of my glider. Even though they are about 5% less mean towards her they are still pretty merciless. I am retired and until the weather got cool I was outside with them and kept them from getting too rowdy. The 3 mean girls are English orpingtons and have those short legs so with that and their girth they move more slowly than the Australorp who is as fast as the road runner, except when they are in the coop and run. Then she can't get out of their way as easy. Since I put her in the coop she hasn't laid a single egg! Do you think this is from the stress of moving her to the coop or interference from the other 3. But she does have access to the nest box all day but maybe they have been into her just long enough for her to give up on laying. That and the cooler weather. Do you think the other 3 will ever completely accept her into the flock? I know she will always be at the bottom of the pecking order but surely this won't be a permanent state of affairs. Do you think?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,417
1,462
Wisconsin
The laying stopping is probably from stress.

Sometimes after a few months new birds do become a integrated part of the flock and sometimes they remain on the outskirts. Time will tell.

Be sure to provide hiding spots, and to break up the line of sight, so your Australorp can disappear at times if necessary.
 

adstowe

Songster
Aug 8, 2016
387
518
181
Colorado
Oldhenlikesdogs pretty well nailed it. Put some hiding spots in the run. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Lean a chunk of plywood or a pallet up against the side. Throw a bale of straw in there. Just a few places that she can get "out of sight/out of mind". Keep in mind when you create these places, you want to make them so that she can't get trapped in them. You don't want her pinned down.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,417
1,462
Wisconsin
Oldhenlikesdogs pretty well nailed it. Put some hiding spots in the run. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Lean a chunk of plywood or a pallet up against the side. Throw a bale of straw in there. Just a few places that she can get "out of sight/out of mind". Keep in mind when you create these places, you want to make them so that she can't get trapped in them. You don't want her pinned down.
Yes, no dead ends, or corners. Always a place for them to slip through or under.
 

unbaked pegga

Songster
6 Years
Nov 22, 2014
391
161
181
Mt Juliet Tn
Since the run is a bit narrow (13x4) I have put her a perch up pretty high that she can hop upon but the others can't. She utilizes that quite a bit plus the free range so if she doesn't see them they will sneak up on them. She just wants to be a member of the flock but they won't allow it. It distressed me when I lost the other other chicks because now she doesn't have any friends,
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,503
20,780
907
Southeast Louisiana
How big is your coop? I find tight spaces magnify behavioral problems. Narrow runs can cause problems too. She cannot pass the others without invading their personal space. While you may meet the minimum square feet per chicken formulas often quoted on here I find the quality of that space has an effect. If your coop is really small you may not have the flexibility to add hiding places in there.

Since your Lorp has been laying she should pretty much be mature enough to join the pecking order. That's generally when a pullet is accepted into the main flock. Do you notice that it is one specific Orp leading the attack? That might be the dominant hen but quite often it is a hen really low in the pecking order that seems jealous of her position. If you can identify one specific hen as causing the problem I'd suggest isolating her from the entire flock and see how the others get along. If they can get along I'd keep her isolated for a week before putting her back with the main flock. See if that period of separation has modified her behaviors so she quits being the problem.

Sometimes these behavior problems are a challenge, I wish you luck!
 

adstowe

Songster
Aug 8, 2016
387
518
181
Colorado
Integrating a single bird is hard. I always recommend doing a minimum of 3. It spreads out the hazing and gives them their own sub-flock while they integrate. I realize that's what you were trying to do and winding up with the single bird was out of your hands. I think Ridgerunner gave you a great next step. Try and find the instigator of the orps and remove her for a while.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,951
11,344
636
western South Dakota
Try this, break up the three some. Pick the least mean, and put her and BA in the coop/run, lock the others outside. This makes it a one on one battle, when they two have worked it out, then add the pairs to each other.

One against three is much harder than two against two.

The other is to cull from your flock into someone else flock one or two of the BO's. A peaceful flock is worth it. You will wonder why you waited so long to do it. A stressful flock is hard on everyone.

Mrs K
 

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