Can we talk about pecking?

Elegantenvy

Songster
May 20, 2018
102
269
122
Saluda, South Carolina
My rooster is new to my flock. The girls don't seem to take to him and vice versa. Everytime I check on him I see him secluded by himself. The first night he roosted with the girls, but the second night I found him alone in a nesting box. :(

I wonder if they are even letting him eat or drink
I've seen them peck at him a bit. I also have yet to hear him crow.

How can I discourage bullying?
Will he eventually show interest in the hens at some point? I relalize its all still new to him but this is a first for me as far as a new member of the flock.

I plan to spend some time outside with them tonight after work to observe things more.
 

KikiLeigh02

Free Ranging
May 11, 2018
2,939
7,719
682
Western Kentucky
How did you introduce him? Did you give them any time with him in a see but don't touch area? It may help him build his confidence. When we introduced ours he integrated pretty quickly, he was fully mature though (18ish months).
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,802
144,345
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Give him time...actually that fact that he's not being aggressive with the pullets is a good thing, IMO.
Are your pullets laying yet?
As long as he's eating/drinking/pooping and moving around OK, which means he's healthy, just let them all work it out.
Multiple feed and water stations might be a good idea.
Hopefully you have time to observe frequently over the next few days,
you can learn a lot by observation.

This might help you understand some of the behaviors you're seeing....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
 

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