Chickens behaving badly

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lil'redhenhouse, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. lil'redhenhouse

    lil'redhenhouse Hatching

    Jun 2, 2010
    Help! I have been trying to (unsuccessfully) integrate the 2 month old chicks I bought in with my older chickens. This morning I found one of the chicks huddled in a corner with a severely bleeding skull. It had been pecked so badly and was, of course, frightened and a little disoriented. I've cleaned and dressed the head and put neosporin and soaked gauze on it to keep it moist. (I know this part falls into the chicken emergency forum category-but I've got that part handled). What I need help with is how to merge the flock without further injury or death (gasp!). I have them in separate runs but there is only one coop with roosts and nesting boxes! Any suggestions??
  2. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Technically opinion only you should wait until your chicks are 3-4 months old to introduce them to a grown flock. The best time to intro them after they are 3-4 months is at night you sneak them in. I'm sorry to hear about your little one's injuries. Hopefully they aren't scared for life and heal up nice. Good luck!
  3. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    Can you create a spot for them to hide in the coop that the larger ladies can't get into? That might alleviate the problem at least temporarily. Although, if it was me, I'd probably keep the smaller chicks in the separate run and create a temporary coop for them out of a dog crate or something so they have protection at night and can see the older ladies (and be seen) during the day in order to get everyone used to each other.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Put something in the run, that the smaller chickens can get into, without the bigger chickens being able to reach them. I am thinking of a long tube, either a carpet roll or a PVC pipe. Put your chicks in that so they realize they can go into it.

    The thing is once they are out of sight, they will be out of mind of the big chickens, and if they can escape, they will be safe.

  5. How many are there of the new ones? I introduced my 8 week old girls into my flock of year old gals and didn't have a problem. I did have a small "shelter" set up in the chicken house for them to hide in if they didn't feel safe. I also had seperate feeders until they were 10 weeks. Sorry you are having a tough time.
  6. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Songster

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    To introduce younger chicks I cross fenced my run and built a temporary coop for the young ones. They all were able to peck at one another through the wire and by the time I put them all together they had gotten used to seeing each other. They still have a pecking order but they all get along now. Plan to free range them during the day and you will have a LOT LESS fighting.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They are way too young to be introduced into an established flock. Pen them adjacent to your present flock. In another two or three months introduce one of the adults into their pen. A couple of days ater introduce another, etc. I would hesitate about introducing the new birds into the present flock because after the beating they have taken, they will be very intimidated. (By the way, they are not "behaving badly." They are only behaving normally.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  8. lil'redhenhouse

    lil'redhenhouse Hatching

    Jun 2, 2010
    They are kept in separate runs now and have been. The two runs are divided by chicken wire so they have always been able to see each other. I just hate that the chicks can't access the shelter of the coop since that's where the big girls have nesting boxes. I do totally understand the pecking order and that this is normal behavior but if you could see the severe head trauma my sweet chick has... It's quite sad, really. It will be a long time before she is even able to mingle with the other chicks her age.
  9. NarleevilleClucks

    NarleevilleClucks In the Brooder

    May 27, 2009
    Linthicum, Maryland
    I made a bad mistake by adding two silkie bantams to my standard flock of 4...they have abused one of the silkies to the point of rehoming. Thankfully I have a great co-worker who also keeps chickens in the 'burbs who has all bantams. It's the worst thing to watch an animal get picked on and pecked on like that...

    Good luck!

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