Established flock of 3 still will not accept new pullet after 2 months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vanessa16735, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. vanessa16735

    vanessa16735 New Egg

    Sep 21, 2015
    I had a flock of 4 hens, and one was killed (1 white leghorn, 2 black australorps, and 1 grey maran which was killed), so i replaced her with a Rhode Island red. I introduced her 1st in a large cage in the coop, so that they could see each other but not touch, for 2 days. Then I let her out one night as my attempt to introduce at night. In the mean time, we had just upgraded our hen house, so the established flock had only been in their new home 1 week.

    The established birds were very loud and verbal when I let my RI free in the coop the 1st night. I always read to introduce at night, but my hens woke up when i opened the cage at night. I prayed she would not be killed, and didn't check until the next morning. It did NOT appear they physically attacked her. That morning I let them all out (free range), my established flock did their usual, and my RI Red hid in the tall grass.

    Fast forward 2 months, nothing has changed. At night, the 3 hens sleep on one side of the house, and my RI sleeps on the other. When i move her to roost with the others, she will stay until they start growling at her and pecking at her, then she runs to other side of coop. I have a fairly large coop, with 3 different roosting spots.

    Also, my RI spends her days in front of the neighbors coop (not free range hens), for hours and hours, she will lay up against the chicken wire, and those chickens lay up against the chicken wire, as if she belongs there instead. It is breaking my heart. I do not see my RI all day, while the others are always in the yard getting treats.

    They continue to be mean to her, and chase her away every time the see her. I also see they did pull some of her feathers out while in the coop at night, and when i go to let them out in the mornings, they are chasing her around inside the coop and being mean. It is mostly the 2 black hens, the white one seems to tolerate the red much better. PLEASE HELP!!!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Maybe this is not so helpful to you right now, but i have read elsewhere that introducing just 1 new chicken to a flock is more problematic than adding more (i guess its a function of the flock focusing on just 1 newbie, rather than more).

    It sounds like a pretty miserable time for your new flock member. You could just give it a little more time. More experienced BYC members may be able to provide more input, but you may wish to ask the neighbour if they want her, if thats where she feels happy? I have one chicken that was born into the flock and she is scared of her own shadow! She never roosts with the rest of the flock and is the lowest in the pecking order (of the adults, at least) but she does at least spend time with the rest of the flock during the day.

    Good luck!

  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It can take a long time for her to be a part of the flock, adult hens don't like outside adults, next time make sure there are two, not sure what you can do at this point but wait it out, perhaps spend some one on one time with her so at least she can look forward to seeing you.
  4. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2014
    I just introduced two Barred Rocks to my flock of four this summer. The first month was exactly as you described in every way. But after that the chasing stopped and things started to become more normal. It's been a few months now, and the BR's are still low on the totum poll, but never attacked.

    The weirdest thing is that I have three roosting bars, and four birds all share one bar now. The other two birds refused to share their roosts with the new members. That was my biggest issue really, and having a larger coop would've helped.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

    Jan 18, 2008
    I second the notion of seeing if the neighbor will take her. It may be hard but if that's where she feels happiest and they accept her (which it seems they have) then it may be best. And then that way you could maybe get a couple new birds instead of just the one. It may also go smoother if you keep the newbies in the pen longer, I've read it should be a week or two, two days seems pretty short. Although they've been together two months now so that is definitely a little weird. I've heard it's harser or impossible to introduce adult birds though; much easier with chicks. But make sure she has plenty of hiding places and plenty of extra food and water containers so they don't bully her away from anything. But I would really try to see if the neighbors want her, especially since it seems that both her and them have already accepted her
  6. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    The only other thing you might try is to separate the two black ones from the flock and see if the red and your white chicken form a mini flock.If they do then you can wait about 7-10 days and reintroduce one of the black ones and see how goes.If all is well wait one more week and then put the last one back in.Being gone from the flock for a week or so kind of removes them from the flock so they will be the new chicken and quite often will get them more worried about rejoining the flock than picking on old enemies, also If you know which one of the black ones usually start the picking make her the last one you put back. This works with larger flocks but I have never tried it with only four chickens so I don't know how well it will work, butt it might work. If this doesn't help then re-homing might be your best bet. Introducing 1 chicken at a time can be tough

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