"Fence fighting" between young roo and RIR hen - what to do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AZChickenQueen, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. AZChickenQueen

    AZChickenQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2012
    OK, all of you experienced flock masters - I need some advice here! And thanks in advance! [​IMG] My two little Silver Leghorns (1 hen, 1 roo) are now about 3 months old. I have them in a separate run with a large dog kennel which serves as their "coop" for the time being. In this run I also have a Rhode Island red, affectionately known as "Crazy". She is kept in her own contained coop/yard within the larger run. She was moved there after being picked on half to death by all of the other hens her same age (she's about a year now) in our big run. Things got so bad with the other hens that she almost died so we moved her, and of course like an idiot I got 2 chicks from a feed store to keep her "company". One turned out to be a boy![​IMG]

    I was just thinking this morning as I was watering the garden about how it'll be time soon to introduce "Crazy" to the two newbies without the wire barrier between them when I heard this odd sorta barking noise from the chicken area and went to investigate. Well, there was "Crazy" and "George", the cockerel, going at each other through the wire! They both had their ruffs up and were pecking at each other's faces through the mesh. I put a stop to it, but "George" had already sustained some minor damage (bleeding comb and wattle). The little female chick did not seem to be injured and/or involved. Put "George" up in the kennel 'til the blood dried and he's been back out for the better part of the day without another incident of "Fence-fighting".

    Sooo...now I am thinking that perhaps doing the introductions anytime soon would NOT be a good idea, and maybe "Crazy" just has to go, despite laying a beautiful egg, but I would like some more experienced advice on this matter, please? Maybe I should try integrating the newbies with the other hens and leave "Crazy" as a solo or move the other RIR (who is toward the bottom of the pecking order in the big run but able to hold her own) in with her? Love to hear everyone's thoughts on this...Thanks a bunch!!! In the other run I have 2 Barred Rocks, 2 EEs and the other RIR...
     
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    This is the reason for the term "Hen Pecked".

    Crazy is a mature hen and the other two are youngsters. She is going to be BOSS until the George gets big enough to be the MAN of the house. You can try to let them meet each other in a big open area. Yes, there will be a little fussing, but the youngsters will have the chance to get away from her. Put some hiding places out for them. Let them spend some time together and then each group return to their own homes. Keep doing this a little each day until they acclimate to each other.

    If this doesn't work, You will need to keep the youngsters separte until George is big enough to be boss. When he is big enough to handle Crazy, then she will submit to him. He in turn will PROTECT his sister from the bully hen. He will rule the roost - so to speak.

    This is NORMAL behavior. Crazy is not doing anything wrong. There is no reason to rehome her. If she ever goes broody, you will appreciate this aggressive behavior. She will make a good protective mommy... [​IMG]
     
  3. AZChickenQueen

    AZChickenQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2012
    Thank you so much - makes perfect sense! Since we don't have the option of letting them meet in a larger space (we have open desert around us full of predators) we will wait until George has a bit more size to him to make the introductions. I do appreciate your response so much...[​IMG]
     

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