HELP!! Integrating new chicks with older hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wendorfa, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. wendorfa

    wendorfa Out Of The Brooder

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    I am having a horrible time integrating my Ameraucana chicks with the older girls. I tried when they were younger keeping them separated with a fence in the run and letting babies sleep in a crate in the coop at night. Older hens somehow got over the fence and pecked babies bloody. So I separated until babies healed. Then I tried the crate in the run and crate inside the coop at night. The babies are 18 weeks old now so they are a pretty good size.

    We are on day five and they REFUSE to stop picking on the darker, bigger baby. Yesterday we made it until 4 pm and then they pecked her again. This morning I found the smaller shielding the bigger baby. When I moved her, I could see her sister was bloody again. I've also been covering her when something similar to blue kote but it's actually the color of her feathers. It does not help. There are multiple waterers, feed stations, plenty of scratch and veggies, and multiple roosts, plus they can be in the coop or outside on the run. What do I do now? I should also add my older hens are 2 Barred Rocks and 1 Buff Orpington. All raised together.

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  2. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Wendorfa, I am subscribing to your thread to see the advice given. I have two young pullets (11 weeks) that I am trying to integrate with 2 hens who will not accept them. So the coop and the run are divided. There are so many integration success stories in the forums. Are some just doomed to failure? I hope you find a solution! Good luck!
     
  3. wendorfa

    wendorfa Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I might have found a solution!! Whenever I would go out the bigger hens were like la de dah, we aren't bothering anybody. Well I finally saw my BO hen (who loves to make sounds like a rooster on occasion and has been bossy in the past) peck one of the babies legs. I shooed her into the coop and she's been locked in for about 4 hours now. I've repeatedly checked and the babies are walking all around with the two Barred Rocks!

    Now my next question is do I let them all together tonight and lock her in again around 6 am when they get up? At night they are just sleeping anyway. Or do I crate her away from everyone (or lock her onto the run, the temps are mild) and back into the coop in the morning?
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On some forums they have claimed that locking up a bullying hen for a few days can change the pecking order. But I have no experience of this myself. You might want to search the archives for info on bullies.
     
  5. wendorfa

    wendorfa Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you know if it's just one of yours doing the bullying? Also I tried when they were younger and if was clear it was a no go. They are 18 weeks now so closer in size to the adults.
     
  6. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I am not letting them in together. Both hens try to attack the pullets thru the fence. They seem relentless about it. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad, I'll try when they are equal size....
     
  7. sammyg21

    sammyg21 Out Of The Brooder

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    We had this same issue when we introduced our EE's to an established flock. Our mistake was that it was one EE to the 5 established. We got a second one from the same hatchery and it was a MARKED difference. They two together weren't as picked on. We'd give separate feed to them in an area set away and that helped as well. Once they started laying, they were more welcomed
     
  8. wendorfa

    wendorfa Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I thought I had it figured out. Separated the bully hen. No problems from 2 pm until bed. Kept them apart. Went out this morning, feathers all over and her back is all bloodied again. So I put the babies in the coop and made the big girls be out on the run. This is day 6, I've tried everything and they refuse to be nice. At this point I think I am going to re home them with my friend who has land and can let her chickens free range (isn't allowed in my township). I feel so defeated :hit
     
  9. sammyg21

    sammyg21 Out Of The Brooder

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    It took a solid two weeks for ours to get used to each other :/
     
  10. wendorfa

    wendorfa Out Of The Brooder

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    Was there blood on a daily basis though? The only other thing I could do is keep them separated until the baby is healed, and try it all over again. But I feel like I have tried everything and they are just not accepting.
     

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