Easter egger behavior

debgoody

Chirping
Mar 13, 2017
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We just added a 5-7 month old easter egger to our flock. She spends the whole day sitting on top of the water container... I’m not outside all day but i can tell you whenever I am she’s sitting there- no clue if she’s eating or drinking anything. At night she won’t go in the coop unless I force her in otherwise she roosts in the run. She’s definitely getting picked on so I think that’s why she stays away. We can pick her up very easily she doesn’t run away.
Is this all normal behavior?? Should I keep locking her in the coop at night. When I do she goes on top of nesting boxes and roosts in the window sill instead of with the others.
 

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If you don't already, add some extra feeding locations and roost options. She is trying to avoid getting beat up. Once things settle down a bit, hopefully she will be able to integrate with the flock better. You should also make sure she is getting food and water.
Both of my EEs are at the bottom of the pecking order. One of them will bury her face and upper body underneath one of the other pullets and cluck very softly. I don't know if chickens react to submissive behavior the way a dog does or even if this is submissive behavior, but it works for her. She's always allowed to stay where she chooses if she does this.
 
She is trying to avoid getting beat up.
Yep.

Any breed of bird added to flock may do this, especially single birds.


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.

This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 
Thank you! This is very helpful, so I’m wondering if I suclude the new one in an area in the run-she won’t be able to go in the coop at night unless I physically open the area and take her out.. or do you aymuggeet just keeping her in the secluded area with no roosting location?
 
I use a plastic or wire dog crate as a temporary house for the newbie(s), I put a roost in there. Just make sure she will be predator proof at night. I try not to have to integrate single birds, it's harder, but you may be able to take one or two of your others that are more amenable to her, put them with her so she has, or makes, a buddy for a while, then reintegrate them together so she isn't just a single coming into the group alone. May make it easier. And don't rush it. If it doesn't work, back off for a while longer.
 
If you could make a little run within the run (wire off a section) that would be nice. That’s what I do to introduce a new member. I keep them separated until I can tell they are not a focus of attention or attack.
If you put food and water on both sides of the wire everyone at sometime will come together at the wire to eat or drink.
I sit and watch. Chickens are subtle with vocals and body posture. My EE is at the bottom of the pecking order too only my Alfa hen gives her grief. Actually I’m lucky it’s nothing serious now. The EE will bow her head in submission and my leghorn is happy with that and moves on. It took about 4 months for her (EE) to intergrate without me worrying. Their such sweethearts. Best wishes
 

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