help! need advice on integrating different flocks!

kaileen20

In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 14, 2014
51
2
43
Okay so here goes.. And I think I'm in trouble for over shopping for chickens at the flock swap Saturday.. First off, I have a 5x6x6 coop and a 10x30 run i just built,i have 4 hens in a separate coop and 4 chicks in the brooder in my garage. So the coop I just built is untouched. went to a flock swap Saturday and got 8 hens (which I think the coop and run is big enough for them, but you can tell me if its not, I'm still new to this) so i got 2 buff orpingtons, 2 Easter eggers, and the other 4 are barnyard mixes, the only 2 buff orpingtons came from the same flock but the rest i got from different people each... I know I probably shouldn't have done that, i wanted a variety of breeds though. Anyways everyone seems to be getting along okay, just minor pecking but these two buff Orpingtons are huge bullies!!!!! I always thought the orpingtons where very docile.. Things get really bad when thet roost at night and when they are laying. One of the buffs will literally stand guard at the entrance Of the coop and won't let anyone else in at all during the day!! Then last night I peeked in on them, and one of the buffs was kicking the Easter egger butt, she wanted one whole roost all to her self and the poor Easter egger was taking her blows while she just viciously Pecked her hard over and over again and trying to shove her off and pouncing on her!! I didn't see blood because it was getting dark I didn't want to intervene, but she pulled out a bunch if feathers. What should I do? Should I get rid if these Orpingtons? Or just wait it out and see if they end up getting along? I worry about them always going this, like guarding the coop and not let anyone else lay eggs, they even guard the food really bad.. Its taking away from them being normal chickens doing what chickens do.. I have 6 waterers and feeders out, but that's what they have been doing all day is bullying all the others, any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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I would strongly suggest that you read the article linked in my signature about space needed for chickens.

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

Integration of new chickens into flock.


Consider medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
Poultry Biosecurity
BYC 'medical quarantine' search

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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

kaileen20

In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 14, 2014
51
2
43
Thank you for that advice! The problem is is that I have 6 hens that came from different people and I don't have the means to separate them all. That's why I probably should have gotten chickens from the same flock and person :/ the rest seem to be doing fine it's just the two buff orpington..

Here us what she does all day, she sits in front of the door of the coop and will attack if anyone gets near.. she will also attack anyone who comes in the coop peeler the nesting boxes and she will attack anyone who gets on a roost with her.. I ended up just separating the two buffs in a hutch and their own space.. clearly they won't get along with others.. I don't even think they have ever been in a flock because when I purchased them last Saturday it was just them two with a rooster as a trio but I didn't get the rooster, everything seems great with the other now

400
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,524
147,103
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you for that advice! The problem is is that I have 6 hens that came from different people and I don't have the means to separate them all. That's why I probably should have gotten chickens from the same flock and person
hmm.png
the rest seem to be doing fine it's just the two buff orpington..

Here us what she does all day, she sits in front of the door of the coop and will attack if anyone gets near.. she will also attack anyone who comes in the coop peeler the nesting boxes and she will attack anyone who gets on a roost with her.. I ended up just separating the two buffs in a hutch and their own space.. clearly they won't get along with others.. I don't even think they have ever been in a flock because when I purchased them last Saturday it was just them two with a rooster as a trio but I didn't get the rooster, everything seems great with the other now

Separating those two for a few weeks might take them down off their high horses...when you add them back in they will be 'newcomers'.
 

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