Didn't Go So Well

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by carolinachic, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. carolinachic

    carolinachic Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2009
    Fayetteville, NC
    I'm reasonably new to chickens and have searched and read many of the previous posts...I just want some opinions.

    I have a very large coop and pen with 4 large hens, 1 silkie and one bantham mix in it. They get along fine. I just got a new mix yesterday that someone was giving away. I went out this morning and put her in with them while I was there to supervise. They established pecking order and everything seemed fine. I was out there over 5 hours and all was going good. This afternoon when I went back out....she was dead.

    My question is does this mean they may never accept a new chicken in or do I just need to introduce them WAY more slowly with a separate cage?

    I'll take any thoughts....thanks.
  2. baldie

    baldie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    I always introduce them when they can be supervised and then when I can't be watching them, they stay in a dog crate in the coop so they can get used to seeing each other. This always works for me. I am sorry about your loss. [​IMG]
  3. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Baldie is right, especially with single chickens. Sometimes if you put in multiple newbies they can kinda form their own mini-flock and eventually they get accepted. And then you get weirdos, like my little cochin girl, who decided that she didn't like her new house, traveled 600yards (this is a 4 inch tall chicken people, who just finished feathering out) to the goat pen, got inside the locked portion of the barn (???) and greeted me on a bar my head level (well over 5 feet in the air).
    [​IMG] I'm so sorry. Chickens can be so sweet, and yet so brutal. What really kills me is when I spend weeks healing a chicken, and then put her out to have her beat up so bad I have to take her back in.
  4. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    First off you should always quaritine any new birds coming into your flock for at least 30 days to make sure the new chicken isn't bringing any disease into your flock. This is very effective keeping your flock heathly. Do you know if the bird you brought in was healthy or not?????????? HMMMMMMMM Something to think about. Also birds will kill another bird if the introduction isn't done properly and you have to watch out for the different breeds because some breeds are more aggresive then others. Sorry about your loss. [​IMG]
  5. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    That is so sad. I'm sorry for you...and HER! As others said, you should keep the new one totally away from the others for 30 days to be sure she is healthy. And, then, you should introduce her by putting her in a dog crate or somethng where the others can see her but not hurt her. After they've been around each other for a week or so, THEN let her out with the others and supervise the entire time, putting her back in the crate, or wherever, so the others can't beat her up when you leave. Some advise putting a new chicken on the roost at night when it's dark and the others are already asleep. But, if I were to do that, I'd do everything I mentioned previously first and, then, be out there at sunrise to make sure things go smoothly. Introducing new chickens is a PITA.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA

    So sorry your first introduction did not go so well. If you read about all the horrible diseases you could understand why they would kill a new bird right off the bat--they see them as a risk to the whole flock. Your birds are not especially mean or nasty, they are just being chickens. If you decide to try it again, get at least 2 pullets, they can keep each other company during quarantine (do a search on that). I built a small movable coop, and sectioned off an area of the run. Keep them separated, but visible, for at least 2 weeks (I did a month, to make sure). Don't get discouraged, introductions are always hard, especially in confined run situations.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    The last chicken I introduced into the flock was held in an area where the others could see him and hear him. After about a week, I put one of the older hens that I am planning to cull later in with him for company. That didn't go so well......younger roo, older hen.....poor girl had to stay on the roost to get any rest! [​IMG]

    Since I free range, any new birds have open spaces in which to run away from persistent bullying. With the quarantine, they had time to get used to him and the only chicken to give him a hard time was my #1 roo.
  8. carolinachic

    carolinachic Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2009
    Fayetteville, NC
    Thanks so much for all the advise and kind words!
  9. Sorry about your chook loss... But when you are ready again to introduce other birds I hope it will go smoothly.

    Here is some of my advice. Yes tot he quarentine for 30 days. Also know who is the Highest on the pecking order in your coop. Make that the top two.. Usually, depending on the breed, he/she will stop any of that. But sometomes the Naughty ones, low ranking toublemakers will be the ones that will go all out just because they were bullied by upper members of the flock.

    What I have tried was to have a mini-kennel to see who will check out the new arrival. Then I would watch the body language of the hens, new and exsisting. Usually the naughty one will show herself. Other times it is one of those keep the newbie in there for a good X amount of days to see how they take to her, after quarentine to see if she changes too. Usually new gals needs to just adjust to the new place in general before they really get into the pecking order. I had newbie that came to be be the leader, in a days time of introduction and she just won't stop being a nipper to any hen that gets in pecking distance. But nice when I pick her up.....

    Another thing That I have read in books is to also introduce the new members in the late evening. However, That was a up and down due to the fact that, again, the nature of your existing flock.

    I hope this Helps...

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Sorry about your loss. It’s amazing on how quickly we bond to our birds. I hate to loose any. I quarantine my new birds for at least a month before I introduce them to the others. I put them in adjacent runs for awhile so they can get used to seeing each other after I take them out of quarantine for around a month. I put mine together when they are about the same size. They will still establish their pecking order. I first let mine range together when my pullets are around 15 weeks old but watch them carefully. Initially when I let the birds out in the yard to free range, I put some scratch and seeds out in the yard so they will fixate on the treats instead so much on each other. I had two of my older hens pounce on some of the younger ones and even pull some feathers out., and yes they can kill other birds. I put the aggressive ones in a separate run for a week where they could see the others. When I let them back out with the flock one was still a bit aggressive. I happened to have a hose in my hand and when one of the older birds jumped on a younger one I gave her a shot of water from the hose and she got off and ran into the coop and didn't come out for awhile. The older birds still chase the younger ones once in awhile, but I haven't seen any real aggression. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009

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