Different ages in a coop question

BASMP

Chirping
Aug 18, 2019
77
81
88
Hello. I have 19 chickens between 2,5-5 that I keep together. I didn't notice any problem except a little aggresiveness between cockerels that could easily get managed but I recently moved them to a new coop along a new silkie chick about 2 months old. Some of the other chicks are pecking on it. Good thing is there is enough space in the coop for all of them but the silkie chick usually gets isolated to the other corner of the coop than the one the others hang..It is quite flighty also, it usually climbs the coop ladder(about 60cms long-a surprise to me since i read how silkie chickens are not flighty at all) so it can feel safer..I feed it alone far from the others though it usually gets near the main food area to eat when it can..I'd like to ask if there would be a possible problem or things will work out after the new pecking order gets arranged. It's already been 4 days and fortunately things didnt get out of hand. I kept an eye on them. But how long usually takes for things to calm down and stop pecking on it completely?
 

CascadiaRiver

Songster
6 Years
Dec 12, 2014
1,664
282
201
Pacific Northwest
It can take a while for things to settle. Our three silkies never really found their way into the flock so we kept them separately. I've heard that nearly everyday the pecking order needs to be reestablished and so the bottom can stay the bottom until the higher ups get old.
 

BASMP

Chirping
Aug 18, 2019
77
81
88
Thanks for your reply. The thing that I'm concerned about is that it gets isolated..the others though they seem to try to establish a peckinh order they seem to get along kinda well..also the fact it is 2 months contrary to the other being 3-5 months old..more of a size thing I mean if things get nasty. How old were your silkies when you introduced them to the flock and how old were the other chickens? Also how many days did you give a chance to see if things work out?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,024
138,123
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Integrating a single bird is hard, especially when the single bird is a poofhead.

Here's some tips about.....
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.
 

BASMP

Chirping
Aug 18, 2019
77
81
88
Integrating a single bird is hard, especially when the single bird is a poofhead.

Here's some tips about.....
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.

Thanks for your reply! Very useful :)
 

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