Continued problem integrating single hen into flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nab58, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've made slow progress integrating a 1 1/2 year old buff brahma hen into our flock.

    Now that it's cold, she's sleeping in the main coop on the roost with the others. The problem is, she won't come out of the coop. She stays on the roost while the others are in the run. Whenever she moves, the rooster pecks and bites at her. She's had her tail feathers pulled out continually. I've covered her back end in blue kote.

    The hens seem to be accepting her but the rooster is so mean! I thought he was the protector. Any thoughts on how I can protect her or make it easier for him to accept her?
     
  2. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same problem. The only one that had a problem with the new girl was the rooster. I couldn't understand it either. He was literally beating up on her. I had to eventually remove her from that flock. I put her in with a different flock, and everyone was happy within 2 days. I was told that sometimes a rooster will sense when another chicken is sick and poses a threat to the flock, and will therefore pick on her trying to run her off. I feel pretty confident that was true in my case, because this particular hen had a severe case of bumblefoot infection.

    You could try removing the rooster for a week or two, then reintroduce him. That way he will have moved to the bottom of the pecking order when he returns.
     
  3. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a good thought. Maybe if I remove the last remaining problem (the rooster). Peeper, the outcast, can establish herself and gain some normalcy and confidence. She's so afraid of everything! It seems she will starve herself rather than interact with the flock.

    The little daughter of the guy we got her from said "you're taking psycho chicken?" The day we got her.......I guess she was right!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd remove the rooster to time out.....and add multiple feed/water stations to make sure the new hen gets sustenance.
     

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