Flock Not Accepting One Hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MadieWestbrook, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2017
    For my birthday, my grandparents got me 3 new hens! I was so excited to add to my flock, especially since we lost so many chicks to predators and spent a lot of time (and money) securing our new coop.

    We brought in the new hens at night so they could roost with our old chickens, which included an Americana and a Silkie (who is a rooster, which we couldn't of known since they can't be sexed). The 3 new hens consist of 2 Americanas and a Leghorn. The Leghorn is a month shy of laying while the other two Americanas are currently laying (along with our original Americana).

    For some reason, the rooster and our original Americana have accepted the two new Americanas and not the Leghorn. They chase the Leghorn around to the point that she is so skittish and standoffish. She keeps up high in the coop so they can't get her.

    I'm becoming worried. When I went out this morning, I had to stand guard just so the Leghorn could eat/drink without getting chased.

    What in the world can I do? My chickens are my world. I don't want to give up a chicken because the others are being jerks. I really need help with this!!!
  2. peopleRanimals2

    peopleRanimals2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2015
    Rhode Island
    They are establishing a pecking order right now, and your leghorn seems to be at the bottom. Try offering multiple food and water sources, and when you feed them treats, place enough down so that they can eat peacefully together. They should settle down eventually, if not, let me know. For now, try to get them used to eating close together, but not to the point where they are fighting over food. Good luck!
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Non-laying pullets are almost always at the bottom of the pecking order...and skittish.

    I agree, offer multiple feed and water sources that are opposite ends of the coop/run so that the Leghorn can get nourishment.

    Also put out some obstacles that can act as hiding places for the Leghorn.

    Also check the Leghorn to make sure she isn't sick or has parasites. Birds will also chase off a bird that is ill.

    Usually things settle down especially when the pullets begin to lay. Until then, continue to watch and intervene if things get really out of hand...meaning you see the Leghorn begin to wane.

  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's early in the introduction yet. One of those links is to one of my articles on the subject CT provided, and I point out that it takes up to three weeks for a new arrival to be accepted.

    Half of the assimilation involves the temperament of the newcomer. If they tend toward being the least bit on the timid side, the home crew picks up on that and will feel compelled to bully them.

    You are accidentally discovering the principle of introducing multiples to reduce the focus of the home flock. It would be much worse if this hen were a single.

    My advice is to step in and intervene before the Leghorn's confidence gets totally hammered. A safe pen during the day where the home flock can see but not touch the newcomer is a big help. It helps them get acquainted without the physical stuff. Chickens actually learn a lot about one another by simple observation, just as we do in out species. Over the next week or so, the newcomers are very observant and learning which ones in the flock are unreasonable jerks and which ones couldn't care less.

    This period of separation really helps reduce the amount of confusion and stress newcomers experience. It's much more involved than just "the pecking order". It's something to consider that it's stressful for the home flock as well. Our intervention and management can go a long way toward making it a smooth transition for our chickens.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017

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