Have gotten new chickens and the old ones are pecking them to death...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 2xchickenfarm, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. 2xchickenfarm

    2xchickenfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    Bath PA
    I had 12 hens that were about 1 year old. My husband decided we should get 12 more. They were in the chicken house and are now 6 weeks old. Seems old ones are now pecking them to death. I lost 3 since Sunday, and I don't know what to do. Any suggestions? Seems the older ones are also eating them. It is terrible. We thought something was getting in and dragging them out and killing them. But we closed them up all night and didn't let them out them in the pen until mid morning. So from then to three o'clock they killed another. What causes them to do this? We had chickens before and never had this problem even with newly hatched ones. What can I do?
  2. Deanner03

    Deanner03 The Cake Queen

    If you haven't already, TAKE THEM OUT NOW! Let them grow more, then try a slow introduction (having them separated by wire, but VISIBLE to each other for while, then put them together).
  3. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2010
    They're only babies! Get them out of there quick! Of course they're pecking them to death, they're no where near full grown and still peeping! Don't put them back until they're full grown!!
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Take them out ASAP. You cannot incorporate chicks with adults like that without consequences. The youngsters must be close to the size of the adults in order to be able to get away or defend themselves.

    Also, babies can't eat layer feed, either, so they need to be separate till they're older.
  5. 2xchickenfarm

    2xchickenfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    Bath PA
    Thank you everyone. Never had this problem before. I left them in there but put up a 2 x 8 enclosed fence for them. At least then they all can see each other, but the older ones can't get into them.
  6. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Introducing chickens is a time consuming process, just so you know.
    Never just throw new chickens into an existing flock. The results can be catastrophic. You need to have an introduction period of at least a few days to a week, preferrably with the new ones fenced off so the "old" ones can't tear them to pieces.
    If you have chicks, the general rule for adding new birds to an already existing flock is to wait until the newcomers are roughly the same size as the established birds. That way, they can at least defend themselves. Otherwise, they will be seriously injured or even killed.
    When introducing adult or adult-sized birds to an existing flock, a 30 day quarantine is highly recommended. Disease is easily carried from flock to flock, even on your shoes. I usually quarantine the new birds for at least 30 days, well away from the main flock, then put them in a pen near the main flock for a few weeks. You can then either divide your run into 2 separate sections or put the newcomers into a cage inside the run for a few days to let them get used to each other. Then I let them out to free range together for a few days/week, eventually they will fight it out and the new ones will blend in with the original flock.
    Unacquainted chickens are going to fight, and unfortunately there is not much that can be done about it. It is just in their nature. But I would suggest that when you do finally put them together for the first time that you have the garden hose ready just in case anyone gets a little too out of hand. One quick shot of water should do it. [​IMG]
  7. Lacey1988

    Lacey1988 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    their still too young you got to wait till they are about the same size of the adults by then they can take the abuse and fight back
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

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