Do Ameraucanas need other Ameraucanas in order to fit in?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Finnie, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One breeder told me I need to get two at the same time so they would have each other for support as they integrate with my other breeds, but the breeder I ended up buying from didn't seem to think that mattered. So I got one adult hen and some baby chicks. The hen won't be the only Ameraucana forever, but she has at least six weeks to wait for the chicks to grow up. In the meantime, she is looking pretty outcast, since the other hens don't let her associate with them much. (Two buff orpingtons, a barred rock, and a black australorp.)

    At night they are all happy to pile in and roost together, and the only squabbling I see is a buff orpington will mildy chase her if she comes too close. The new one definitely sticks to herself pretty much all day long. (Today is the 5th day.) I'm beginning to think the first breeder was right, and I should have gotten her a friend of her own kind.

    Should I try to get a second Ameraucana so that the two newbies can band together? Or would that just double the problem, since they will be strangers to each other and might not like each other.

    If I were to get another one, should it be the exact same breed, in order for them to "recognize their own kind"? Or would they place color similarity above body shape and size? My Ameraucana is a lavender, so she is much paler than my other chickens, practically white. I know where I might be able to get a white Easter Egger type of "Americana", and I am wondering if that would be close enough in size and color to make the two of them happy. My other option is to try to get a true Ameraucana from a breeder I found who has only wheatens.

    Or maybe I should just let her stick it out. I'm sure she will adjust eventually. I'm probably anthropomorphizing that she seems lonely and needs a friend. The first breeder probably got that idea stuck into my head. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, from my experience, it's just sometimes difficult to merge different chickens together if they weren't raised together. I really don't think breed has much to do with it, unless you have very different looking birds (sometimes birds pick on others that are different from them, such as feathered feet, different comb type, different plumage (think silkie). So long as there isn't any bloodshed, I think it's fine :) Maybe if you had gotten two birds from a breeder that had been raised together, regardless of breed, the two would have each other. But getting another bird probably wouldn't make much of a difference if they weren't raised together. But over all, so long as there is no drawing of blood, I think you are fine :)
     
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I agree. There really is no bond between chickens of the same breed unless they've been raised together from babies. That bond lasts for a lifetime, and it's the one that gives chickens the confidence they need to stand up to other chickens, who probably also have the same kind of bond.

    Lone chickens, taken away from their brooder-mates, are not as emotionally equipped to take on the pecking order. I've learned this the hard way over the years, and now I always buy baby chicks in units of not less than four, because the more in their unit, the more self confidence they seem to have.

    If you do try to get a buddy for your lone hen, try to find one she was raised with as chicks.
     
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  4. Parent of Tudie

    Parent of Tudie Just Hatched

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    i too have just gotten two americauna chickens their pellets that were raised together
    I'm trying to put them in with 7 other birds 6 reds and one Bard Rock I've had the two newbies in a cage in the coop with the others for two days now, I let them all out today and a couple of the Reds are attacking them.
    Will they eventually be ok with each other? And how long will the process take ?
    Parent of Tudie:/:/
     
  5. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had birds who just couldn't get along so they are now in separate coops. When you introduce birds they will pick on each other a bit, they need to to determine the pecking order, but if your new chickens are being food and water deprived or you see blood then separate them. It's not easy seeing your beloved chickens scared and being picked on, but it's a natural way for chickens to determine the pecking order. You could try putting them in a cage where the other chickens can get used to seeing them, but not hurt.

    They might eventually be okay, but some chickens will always get picked on and the only solution is separating the problem chickens from the rest of the flock. In my experience, successful flock merges only took a few days, within a week they were fine.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I never quite understand how folks think a bird can know what breed it is. I just take all the mirrors out of the coop so they don't know what they look like [​IMG]

    Breed has nothing to do with it here, it's social bonding. Getting two hens from the same flock would have given her a buddy, regardless of what breeds they were. Adding a single bird often means she's on the outskirts for a while, unless she's a pretty dominant type. She just needs more time. Birds don't have a concept of friends like humans do, or inclusion. Each bird has to establish her place, and sounds like your new bird is content being the Omega, for now at least.
     
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  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Then again, birds of a feather and all that..... [​IMG] These were most of my original hens, all long passed away now. Trust me, I didn't line them up that way myself! I have found that if they don't flock with their own breed, they flock with like-colored birds if there are any. No explanation, but I've seen it over and over again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting! I've seen my Orphingtons roost together, but most of the others would flock according to pecking order or preference on the roosts or the edges of the nesting boxes. Some were even content to lay down in the hay, as long as they were in the coop which is up off the ground.
     
  9. konachicks

    konachicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've noticed in my brooder of 7 3 week chicks they tend to sit by color too! It's so weird but the dark colored ones are in one pile and the light are in another pile. So odd
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    * Mental picture of Cynthia out on her steps, patiently moving her hens around for the perfect photo op* [​IMG]

    I've honestly never seen this in my flocks. They just seem to buddy up for no reason. Maybe some of it is I have so many mixed breeds...if they're looking for someone that looks just like them, they're outta luck!
     

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