1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

help Help HELP SEMI EMERGENCY!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Whitewinterwolf, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    So I have a little flock of 8 birds at the moment, all of which are 10 weeks to 18 weeks.
    They have all gotten along just fine with absolutely no problems what so ever.
    Until now.
    A friend of mine had gotten three Buff orphington hens and raised them up only to find that there dog wanted to eat them and well...that there town was not chicken friendly. These birds are already laying eggs, and there daughters were terrified that someone was going to get them and eat them, so in a nut shell they got me to take them with the agreement that i would not eat them as a favor.
    Well i put them in a large open wire crate for three weeks and let them get used to my birds, all was fine. I let them out to free range after the three weeks, everything was still fine. No one seemed to care about anyone as usual.
    So I let them stay out for the night to see how everything went.
    Well...the very next day was not so great...The morning went fine, I opened the hatch and they all came out and free ranged as usual...
    Well that night when I went to put the birds in the coop, all eight of my chickens dove for a nesting box and hide there cramped and crumpled all on top of one another. The younger ones were screaming like someone was killing them, and the older ones were sitting on top of the other birds with there wings out like they were protecting them.
    Well, I decided to sit in the coop and wait and see what happened next and sure enough all three buffs came in and begin pecking at, chasing, and just plain tormenting my birds!
    Against my better judgment I decided to listen to my fiancee let them have at it since they were not doing any harm but tormenting them, and we thought it was just a pecking order thing.
    The next day they were all still lodged in the same nesting box, a few feathers scattered, but nothing alarming. I opened the hatch and the three girls came out, but my others would not move.
    I had to go in and manually remove them from the nesting box, only to then have them ATTACK the food and water. I let them free range, again with no problems, and tonight I went to do the same thing, i put all of my birds in for the night and then put the big girls in...same thing happened.
    I have no where else to put these other birds at night, literally no where. The crate is out of the question as it was hard enough convincing them to go into it, let alone move in it...It would not be fair.
    At the moment I am having them stay outside the coop until I get some advice!
    What should I do!!?? I dont want anyone to die, i dont want anyone to be hurt, but these birds are going to end up hurting one of my baby's!
    What should I do, what went wrong, and why are they suddenly doing this when they were fine???
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
    36
    213
    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    That is quite a dilemma! Do you have anything to block off part of your coop? What was your friend keeping the Buffs in? Do they have an extra coop now that you could move to your place...obviously doesn't help tonight... [​IMG]
     
  3. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Yay Chicks! :

    That is quite a dilemma! Do you have anything to block off part of your coop? What was your friend keeping the Buffs in? Do they have an extra coop now that you could move to your place...obviously doesn't help tonight... [​IMG]

    Nothing that will block off the roost, or that they cant fly over [​IMG] They were keeping them in a little chicken tractor, but they sold it a week after I took the birds in.
    I have no idea what to do, and its really distressing to me and my poor birds!​
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would get the three buffs out of the coop, if I had to turn them loose in my back yard. Just not fair to your own chickens to subject them to that, IMO. I know it will take some time to resolve this, with a separate coop or a setup in your garage or an ad on Craigslist or whatever it takes -- but in the meantime, I would not subject my own chickens to them. JMO. You know, you could make a BYC auction, offer them for pick up for free -- maybe someone in your area would take them for you.
     
  5. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Quote:Im going to try for a separate coop, but you do you think that this is going to get better at all?
    Do you have any idea why they are doing this?
     
  6. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Bump.
     
  7. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Temporary solution found: The crate that I had the older birds in is being used as a temporary coop inside the coop as it is big enough to hold my birds, that way they are safe and the big birds wont be eaten by anything.
    My hope is that they will learn to get used to each other until either they can stay loose together at night, or until I can afford to get them a separate coop that will survive the wind and snow we get where I am...
    If anyone has any opinions or ideas on why the ladys are acting this way PLEASE share!!
     
  8. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,200
    14
    173
    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    For a temporary fix..is there any way you could build a movable separation wall (or 3 sided pen)? We have a grow out pen inside the coop made entirely of lattice and chicken wire. We just framed the lattice, and then put another piece of lattice on top to keep them from jumping out. When they are done with it, We just take it apart and store it for the next time. You could let your girls in first, and then put this "wall" up, and let the other ones inside so that they would stay right by the pop door, but could not get into the rest of the coop.
     
  9. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    811
    0
    136
    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    but you do you think that this is going to get better at all?
    Do you have any idea why they are doing this?

    I do think it will get better, but separation until the little girls are older will be needed. Right now the grown hens are too much bigger, and establishing a pecking order is too rough on the little ones. The fact that there hasn't been any blood is an encouraging sign. They aren't trying to kill them, they just want to be top hen. It's normal behaviour...just too unbalanced right now because yours are still babies.

    I really don't like integrating...so I totally feel for you right now. The pen-within-a-pen idea is a great one for now. Help the little ones get bigger so they can compete. You may not need a whole other coop for them, it might be that when your girls grow up, they will establish a normal, peaceful order. They just need somewhere to be safe until they are grown. Good luck!!​
     
  10. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Quote:I do think it will get better, but separation until the little girls are older will be needed. Right now the grown hens are too much bigger, and establishing a pecking order is too rough on the little ones. The fact that there hasn't been any blood is an encouraging sign. They aren't trying to kill them, they just want to be top hen. It's normal behaviour...just too unbalanced right now because yours are still babies.

    I really don't like integrating...so I totally feel for you right now. The pen-within-a-pen idea is a great one for now. Help the little ones get bigger so they can compete. You may not need a whole other coop for them, it might be that when your girls grow up, they will establish a normal, peaceful order. They just need somewhere to be safe until they are grown. Good luck!!

    That is very reassuring thank you. I am very glad that there is no blood, but my concern was that I was going to come out to find a blood bath one morning T_T Im glad the pen inside a pen idea sounds like the right idea, im trying to work on either getting a bigger crate, or making a bigger pen thing.
    At what age do you think it would be ok to try and let them be together again? Some of them are close to 20 weeks, those two can fend for themselves, but the others im not so sure.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by