Combining two new pullets with my three young hens. Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by diamondzoo, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. diamondzoo

    diamondzoo New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2012
    I have three young hens who stay in a 10' x 10' fenced area with a coop. Three weeks ago, I purchased two beautiful and gentle pullets. When I combined the chickens, it did not go well at all. Two of the three hens viciously attacked the pullets. The poor things took to hiding and would not come out. If they tried to get food or water, the attack would start again. The two would attack one of the pullets, cornering them. I would stop the attack. I finally took out a large dog crate and set it up inside the cage and put the pullets inside for protection. I figured that I would give them some time to grow. They have an area to go for shelter (which they sit on at night) and their own food and water.
    The pullets are the same size as the hens now but are very afraid to leave the dog crate. The couple of times I have taken them out of the crate this week have resulted with the same problem that I had three weeks ago. With the cold weather coming on, I would like all of my girls together in the coop that will be heated. The poor pullets also deserve more space.
    Advice please...
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Do all three older hens attack, or is there one that seems to be more vicious? If the latter, remove the bully for 2 days and she will lose her spot as head hen. It's the pecking order. It happens. I usually try to add 3 or more to the flock at a time so they don't direct their attacks at one specific pullet.
     
  3. diamondzoo

    diamondzoo New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2012
    Two of the three hens are the attackers. There is one that is the worst. Should I remove them both and return them one at a time?
     
  4. PeachygirlGA

    PeachygirlGA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2012
    Fort Valley, GA
    How badly are they attacking? Are they drawing blood? When I introduced 2 new pullets to my existing 5 there was a lot of attacking going on, but they quieted down after a few days. I did separate with a fence for a few days before letting them in together. If you can tough it out for a few days of the pecking it will get better! Funny thing was, mine would attack during the day but then they would all pile up together to sleep at night. Now they all get along fine.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Mine don't usually squabble more than 24 - 48 hours as well. There will be the occasional head peck, but nothing serious (at least until roosting time).

    I have chicks that are very young free ranging with the entire flock. I have never had a chicken kill another chicken, though I did have a chicken kill a call duck from trying to mate it :(

    Separate both if you can't take the fighting. Separate them separately. That way the new ones can get used to the place before you add the new ones back. They are already stressed out about being relocated, adding bullies on top of that can be rough at a young age.
     
  6. sierras mom11

    sierras mom11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2012
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    You should always introduce new birds at night. Chickens are VERY territorial and would rather see the other guy dead than have friends. they notoriously forget who they went to bed next too. If intoduced in daylight its very hard to ever get them to get along. Will probably need to take original hens out for a while and then when you put them back in they will be the new kids on the block.
     

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