Got a New Hen - the others don't like her

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AnnieSantiago, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    I got a new EE hen today.
    Her name is Bella and she lays blue eggs.
    The other girls don't like her much yet.
    I put her in a small cage and put it in the run.
    I let her out for a while and they left her alone for the most part, but now and then all three would take runs at her. I'm hoping they'll accept her sooner rather than later.

    My other three are a mystery.
    Kallie, the biggest Barred Rock, has been laying about 2 weeks.
    She suddenly stopped about 4 days ago (before we got the new hen) - I'm not sure why she quit.

    The other Barred Rock, same age as Kallie, hasn't begun squatting or laying.
    Nor has the RIR.

    Bella WAS laying at her old home, so hopefully will start in here soon.
    She was checking out the laying boxes today.

    My other issue is I guess I need to put in new laying boxes.
    I built boxes inside the coop, but Kallie started laying up in the little henhouse.
    So I put a nesting box up there and she used it each day (until she quit a few days ago)

    Now that I have 4 birds, they'll be pooping in the nesting box, so I guess I'll have to put a nesting box attached to the side so it's not under the roost.

    I wish they'd just lay in the lower nesting boxes.
    I've sunk too much $$ into these girls already.
    Besides the coop and run, I've gone through a big bag of feed, and probably only have a dozen eggs to show for it from one hen.

    I'm about ready for those chicken and dumplings if I don't see eggs soon.
    I keep threatening...

    [​IMG]
    Bella, my new EE hen - 5 months old

    [​IMG]
    "Is it safe to come out???"

    [​IMG]
    Kallie (in front), with Hattie (BR) and Sissy (RIR) in the back.
    No eggs lately and Sissy, who was bullied in the beginning, has turned into the bully for the new hen.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It isn't that they don't "like her," she just hasn't found her place in the pecking order yet, and they are still somewhat disturbed by the presence of a new chicken. It takes time for chickens to adjust to any change, sometimes even moving an object in their living area.

    4 birds ony need one nest box. You may want to leave two, to have one in each part of the coop. But I'certainly wouldn't spend money on more of them.

    Mine have more nests than they need, mostly because there used to be more hens. They change out which ones they prefer, and sometimes they decide to lay in a corner of the coop, leaving the nests empty. I think most chicken keepers have these kinds of experiences.

    If you haven't already, you can try putting a fake egg (golf ball, plastic egg filled with sand, ceramic egg, etc.) in there to try to give them the idea it's a good place to lay. You might also sprinkle a little poultry dust in there in case there are some mites or lice that are bothering them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  3. 6 Frizzles

    6 Frizzles New Egg

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    May 20, 2014
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    When I get new chickens I have them in another pen so the others can say hi and get to know them.. in a safe enviorment.
    I've found chickens can be territoral, so having someone new on their patch can cause a few ruffled feathers for a while.
    I leave them apart for a few days to get use to each other, then put them together..
    It dosnt take long for the peacking order to be sorted.
    But me being me.. I keep an eye on them.. just incase one becomes hen pecked too much.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You're a thoughtful chicken keeper! Sounds like a good approach to me. Maybe they just need a little more time; I hope so.
     
  5. BeulahBreezes

    BeulahBreezes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My gals seem to pick on my EE alot too...its a shame because she is such a sweet little thing!
     
  6. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    I spent a lot of time yesterday "chickensitting" with the new girl.
    I let her out of her small 2x2 cage for a while and watched, keeping the others from badgering her too much.
    Last night, she didn't want to go into the tiny chicken house with the others (I don't blame her) so I put them in, and left her in the coop.
    I made her a roost in the rafters.

    Today, I'll put her in the 2x2 most of the day.
    I hope they warm up to her soon.
    She is a sweet little girl.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2

    What you are seeing is absolutely normal behavior on all parts during an introduction/integration process for a flock with a new member/members. Just keep watchful that the sorting out doesn't get too out of hand and give them some time to resort the flock dynamics.
     
  8. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    Judy, thanks for the note about the laying boxes.
    I'll just keep the ones I have downstairs from the henhouse and see what happens.
    Kallie stopped laying (not sure why) but maybe she'll pick back up again.
     
  9. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't believe with all the stress of the other hens chasing her, my new EE, Bella laid this beautiful big egg just now!
    What a girl!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Not too surprising - this egg was "in the works" already and so the stress of the move, etc would not effect the end result of laying this one--the impact of stress will more likely show in production in the days ahead as her system interrupts further production of eggs that hadn't already hit the pipeline.
     

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