Chickens not getting along

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mustangsaguaro, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    I have 8 hens and 1 rooster, and 3 of the birds which are new to the flock are not getting along w/ the others. The 3 were in isolation up until a week ago then I let them out w/ the others. The 3 that came together pretty much stay w/ one another and do there own thing. And then my original group of 5 they stay together as a group too. I went out this morning to feed them some bread and 2 of the 3 came over to get some bread. Well, my one dominant hen and rooster came over and the dominant momma hen and the BR (new to the group) started fighting. It didn't last long, am guessing they are establishing their pecking order. I'd really like for these new 3 to get a long w/ the others and hang out as a whole group. Do any of you have groups of chickens that don't get along and one group will stick together and another will stick together and hang out in different places? I don't want this to be a problem and have constant fighting.

    Another thing I am kind of worried about is I am having some chicks and when they are old enough to be introduced will there be the same fighting that's going on now?

  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    They just have to work out the pecking order. It usually only lasts a day or two of outright aggression and then it settles down.

    It's best to leave them together to work it out unless there are major wounds, loss of feathers, etc.

    I just integrated 7 teenage (10 wks) buff orps out with my grown up girls and while they aren't thrilled with them yet, after two days they seem to have worked out the major issues.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    This is absolutely normal behavior and you're right-they're establishing the pecking order. There really isn't anything you can do to shortcut the process. As far as I know there are no psychologists who work with chickens. [Although somewhere in California who knows???]
    The same process will take place when you introduce your young birds. Make sure they are mature enough to compete when you add them to the flock.
    The "sorting out" usually doesn't take long and it's unlikely that any bird will be seriously injured.
  4. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    That's what I thought about the pecking order thing. But I guess I needed some reassurance. Thanks [​IMG]
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Someone on here posted that she found it really helped when she took an old screen door (I think that's what it was) and leaned it against the wall, leaving just enough room for the smaller ones to get behind it if they were feeling vulnerable. I thought that seemed like a good idea, and I'm going to use a wooden pallet in the same way. Just a suggestion.
  6. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    When adding chickens to an already established group...

    put together so they can see eachother for a few weeks but, not touch
    they should be the same size

    I had didn't know this and last summer & I found out if they are smaller they can be pecked to death!

    It also helps if you put the same amount or more!
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    When I had Jerry Remy, Slifer the Sky Dragon and Obelisk the Tormentor, Jerry and Obelisk would pair off and leave Slifer in the lurch...

    Of course they'd fly over the fence and Slifer would rat them out! [​IMG]
  8. Clucky

    Clucky In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2007
    New Zealand (the best)
    my 4 hens ganged up on my 2 new ones but after their peckin order they all got on well. it takes a few weeks tho
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  9. All my hens are roosters

    All my hens are roosters In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2008
    It also isn't unusual for chickens to form their own little groups and hang out together. Just be watchful when introducing new birds and make sure they have lots of room to get away if needed.
  10. buckyphifer

    buckyphifer In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2008
    Northwest Tennessee
    I like your idea RChicks. I've got 2 new buff cochins and the hen that I've had is so mean to them. Of course my roo is in love! For the last 2 days the new girls just hide out under the nesting box. I took them out and they were so hungry and thirsty so I guess my old hen hadn't let them eat either. I'm going to try it your way and then put them back together after a few days.


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