Help introduving 2 hens to lone hen

CurleyHen

Hatching
Aug 30, 2019
3
6
6
Hi all :frow
I'm in need of a spot of help please
Last week we sadly had one of our two hens put to sleep, leaving a lone hen
I know a lone hen is no good, and as they live at my allotment, I was keen for her not to be alone
After lot of research I decided to get 2 pullets the next dat, and introduce them to my existing hen straight away, from a ton of research there seemed to be a lot of others who've done this successfully, admittedly some not, but as I'm not able to have another coop, i decided to take the risk..
It didn't go great to be honest, my existing hen, who was not the dominant one previously, now seems just plain vicious to the new pair
She chases them, jumps on them and pulls feathers, theres not bald patches that i can tell, or blood drawn, but it's just worrying to witness as its looks so brutal
She chases them into the coop a lot, where they hide a lot of the time, they do come down, but are chased back soon after
I've put food and water, and peck blocks, at both ends of the run, and scattered some corn around
When the 2 new ones are in the run, and are given a break from old hen, they do scratch around etc.

They are in a 4 metre long eglu go up the majority of the time - they do get a bit of supervised free range everyday

Is this normal pecking order stuff, which will work out on a while, or should i be worried? I'm a new chicken owner and not too sure of what to do :(

Any advice greatly appreciated
 

Criticalicious

Crowing
Feb 25, 2017
915
1,693
262
New Market, VA
This is normal behavior. It can take 2 to 3 weeks to adjust to new members. If you have a way to divide their areas so they can see but not touch each other, it will help the younger ones gain some confidence. Even a large wire dog crate can help. In the future if you bring in new birds, you really should quarantine them for 30 days to ensure you don't infect the whole flock (too late now but your "flock" was only one bird).

It also helps for the new ones to have plenty of space to escape either up or behind objects to break line of sight.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
You have enough room to put a divider in the coop? they should at least be in the see but no touch for a couple of weeks, it will still help the lone older one not feel lonely but protect the babies,usually cold new flock mates doe not go well but getting them used to sharing space without being able to hurt one or the other helps a lot.

even putting some hiding spots, say a stray piece of wood or cardboard leaned up against the wall so they can get away from her and if you can do so on in multiple places
adding perches at different levels as we are not sure of your set up, but would not require a separate coop
 

CurleyHen

Hatching
Aug 30, 2019
3
6
6
Thank you, yes i did know of the need to quarantine so will try to do this in future if ever i need to add more - good to know its normal, they are able to run past and away the majority of the time

I could add a divider in the middle some how, so it would be ok to leave one or the other without a coop?

I have one perch which goes across the run, but not much else - ive only just set up this new run so its a bit bare at the moment (previous pair were in a smaller run up until about 3 weeks before we put the other hen to sleep, so we didnt have much room for much other that corn etc to scratch and veg) i've added a pic of the run as it is at the moment,
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20190804_172615.jpg
    IMG_20190804_172615.jpg
    959.6 KB · Views: 11

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
up to you how you want to do it, that's actually pretty nice set up, they might be able to get away with just need more hiding spots . I would put a dish with food and water at each end of it though that way if one gets territorial over food they others can still eat,
a box or crate works or even a tree branch as lower level the smaller ones can manage
 

CurleyHen

Hatching
Aug 30, 2019
3
6
6
Thank you, i'll add in some hiding spots and perches and see if that helps - i can always divide the run up if needs be if things dont seem to be settling in the next week or so..
 

Criticalicious

Crowing
Feb 25, 2017
915
1,693
262
New Market, VA
At night you want to lock up all three in the coop so they're safe. So in that regard no, it's not OK to leave chickens without a coop. At night in the dark they shouldn't fight because they'll be asleep. But during the day, if the pullets aren't laying yet then they should be fine without the coop.
 

Tinamariebutterfly

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2019
9
26
32
You have enough room to put a divider in the coop? they should at least be in the see but no touch for a couple of weeks, it will still help the lone older one not feel lonely but protect the babies,usually cold new flock mates doe not go well but getting them used to sharing space without being able to hurt one or the other helps a lot.

even putting some hiding spots, say a stray piece of wood or cardboard leaned up against the wall so they can get away from her and if you can do so on in multiple places
adding perches at different levels as we are not sure of your set up, but would not require a separate coop
How would this apply to acclimating 2 full grown hens?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,022
138,101
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
How would this apply to acclimating 2 full grown hens?
This might help explain it to you @Tinamariebutterfly .
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.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom