Getting attacked

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The Clark Farm, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. The Clark Farm

    The Clark Farm In the Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2019
    St. Petersburg, FL
    So I just signed up here and I’m hoping this is the right place to post this?

    So last Saturday I brought home our two Barred Rocks, and they have adjusted really well to their new environment. They were raised by someone who had these two, a small red mix (he didn’t know the breed) and a small rooster. He said they’re all about 4 months old. I took the two BRs home and he asked me to take the small red one because she was depressed because his sisters were gone and he couldn’t keep her anyways (moving). So exactly one week later I went and got the red one. She is half their size, but has been living in peace with all of them their whole lives. As soon as I put her in the run the two BRs attacked her! I figured that they just needed a minute to remember each other so I separated them for several hours. I went back to let the small red one out and they refuse to leave her alone! No matter what, they want to attack her, peck her comb off, and rip her feathers out. Thankfully the little red one loves to be held and I can just scoop her right up away from them. However, I don’t think they are going to be able to live in peace and I’m afraid two birds twice her size will end up killing her or something!

    Is there something else I can do? They even attacker her free ranging the yard outside of their personal space. I left the small red one in the coop last night while I locked the big ones in their roost. I didn’t get a second roost/nesting box because they loved each other originally and I didn’t foresee this happening. I will be making one for her today. Is this something I can finagle where I just keep them separated and they’ll eventually not hate her? Or should I rehome? Any advice would be amazing! I have a full time job and can’t be home all day supervising!
     

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  2. McChics

    McChics Songster

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    You just need to keep them in eyesight of each other for a while and then slowly mix her in. They can be jerks to each other. Even if you just separate one for a night for other reasons the next day they will make her peck her way back into the group.
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  3. McChics

    McChics Songster

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    Try introducing her into the roost area at night after they have gone to sleep. The next morning they wake up together and are like “oh, hello friend. There you are.”

    Maybe on a night / morning that you’ll be off work so you can snatch her out if they start hurting her.
     
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  4. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    I agree that you need to introduce them much more slowly in a 'look, don't touch' set up. But if the area you show in the pictures is all you are providing them, you are likely to continue to have aggression issues. It's not large enough for two let alone three pullets.
     
  5. The Clark Farm

    The Clark Farm In the Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2019
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I got a chicken coop with the intention of getting a chicken. It turns out we have three now, so it’s not ideal. They have a 5 foot long enclosed coop (run portion, nesting box overhangs) inside of a 10Lx5Wx6H run, they’re not all crammed inside the 5 foot coop... you’re seeing it from the smaller side. They are let out daily to free range and they are quite the happy chickens (other than ganging up on poor little red). I will be getting a different set up soon and they won’t have that coop taking up 1/3 of the run. I’m also adding perches of course. Please remember, I got my first chickens a week ago - I’m still ironing out all the kinks.

    I have kept them separated since she got home 24 hours ago. Thank you, I will keep them separated for longer and see how they react outside of their run again.
     
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  6. The Clark Farm

    The Clark Farm In the Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2019
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I’m not too sure about that, it sounds great in theory but if you saw the way they hated her even in open yard space it might not be the best idea. Thank you, if nothing else has worked and it comes down to it, I will try. I worked with them all day yesterday and as soon as they see her in the yard or pin unrestrained they jump.
     
  7. She is quite a sweetie.
    Honestly, looking at your space avaliable and set up, i would rehome her. She is likely always going to be low bird, and the other two girls are much larger than her.
    See if you can find her a home with a more friendly future.
    also you mention getting "a" chicken. One chicken by itself is an unatural existance as chickens are flock birds. 2 is better. If you loose one of your girls, a kindness would be to find a friend for the remaining bird.
    Good luck!
     
  8. The Clark Farm

    The Clark Farm In the Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2019
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Oh yes I realize that!!

    It’s so sad because she’s so freaking sweet and innocent and loves us already. Of course we love her more than we thought we could ever love a bird. Thanks for the advice, that may be best
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    OhBoy.
    Integrating a single bird(which looks to be a bantam BTW) is tricky.
    Especially with the confined space you have.

    This might help:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/

    As might this...
    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.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @The Clark Farm
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
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