Chickens won't Stop Pecking New Bird!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by purplerice27, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. purplerice27

    purplerice27 In the Brooder

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    Hi! I just recently acquired a Leghorn from a friend of mine. I have an existing flock of 2 ISA Browns (5 months) and an oversize Polish bantam and an undersized white unknown rooster. I've kept the Leghorn and my flock separate for 4 days now, but they have access to each other and are only separated by chicken wire. This morning I tried integrating the birds together. The Polish roo tried to mate with the Leghorn, but other than that the roos left her alone. The ISA Browns on the other hand relentlessly pecked the Leghorn. All the Leghorn can do was to run away, but then the Browns would just grab her by the comb or neck feathers. Eventually the Leghorn sat down and the Browns sat on top of her, but about 5 minutes later the pecking and harassing just continued again. The Leghorn at this point is bleeding all over the comb, and she is not fighting back. Please help me as I don't know what to do in this point!
     
  2. bradymars

    bradymars Songster

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    You'll have to put her in a pen by herself with a Rooster that will treat her right. The other hens are showing her there dominance, she's the bottom of the pecking order
     
  3. hlhutchinson

    hlhutchinson Songster

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    I have been told that after the you can see but not touch stage to put the new chicken in the coop at night. (I have only added 1 new chicken to my small flock once, that's how I did it, it worked for me. They were all about 3 months old at the time)
    Maybe after some time with a nice rooster (or hen, again from reading not sure if a rooster or hen is better maybe someone with more experience can comment ) and they have been established a relationship will help. when you try to put her with the rest do it at night. Put her and the rooster in the coop at night
    Good luck
     
  4. h2oratt

    h2oratt Crossing the Road

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    You should never just add one new chicken. You will have to separate her.
     
  5. purplerice27

    purplerice27 In the Brooder

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    I took out the Browns, and so far the roosters aren't bothering the Leghorn. It's as if she's not there. She is also not moving very much and she is just standing still.
     
  6. purplerice27

    purplerice27 In the Brooder

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    I was contemplating doing this, but I'm scared that if the chickens wake up before me the next morning, they will have already pecked the newbie to death. :(
     
  7. purplerice27

    purplerice27 In the Brooder

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    One more thing...

    I know that the chickens can get rough on the newbie, but at what point do I separate them? Are there signs or a time span of when I should intervene on the initiation before serious damage is done to the new bird? And how long will it take for the initiation to last before my flock accepts the newbie?

    As of right now, I've only let the Browns peck the Leghorn for about 2-3 minutes, in which the pecking and harassment is not stopping. I just couldn't bear to see the newbie get hurt anymore!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Welcome to BYC @purplerice27 ...sorry you're having troubles.

    When the bleeding begins.

    Your flock count is confusing...you mention 4 existing birds, a polish roo, but then say 'the roos' later like you have more than one or two males.

    4 days is not enough time for the side by side separation when introducing new birds.

    Adding a single bird is the hardest integration.
    This might help:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/

    So might this:
    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.


    This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    purplerice27 likes this.
  9. purplerice27

    purplerice27 In the Brooder

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    Thank you so much! I knew it might get rough but I didn't know when to stop it. The article is very helpful and is exactly my situation!

    Oh and btw the other roo is the white bird on my picture.. Thanks so much :)
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Having 2 males in such a small flock could be part of the problem...or may be a problem in the near future.
     

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