HELP PLEASE-When do you know introducing chicks isn't going to work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Carrie Lynn, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 1 yr. old BA & Banty Leghorn. I have been trying to introduce two BR chicks, now 9 wks.-old.
    I started about 10 days ago by putting them in a wire dog kennel inside the chicken yard. The Banty, who I thought would be a problem, is doing the predictable chest bump/peck on head thing, the chicks scatter and that' the end of it. However, the typically docile, shy and cautious BA is being awful!
    She is just not getting used to them. Yesterday, I let them out of the dog kennel again to try to get them used to being together, I have to have this sorted out before I go back to work Aug. 29. Well, as usual the BA is horrible to them, grabbing them by the top of their necks---there are chick feathers scattered about! She "stalks" them and creeps in and attacks! Yesterday, I sat outside the pen w/ the hose and squirted her when she did it, or was about to, and that helped. I think she has figured it out though, and waits until I can't be there to attack.
    When do I just give up? I don't want her to seriously injure them, and hiding under the coop is no life for the chicks. [​IMG]

    What should I do? [​IMG] I am so upset.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  2. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry for your stress!! [​IMG] Try putting them in a cage or area right next to the others so they can see them but not hurt them. They should get used to each other that way. There was a time when I had to have three different areas, one for babies, one for teenagers and one for adults! Try it and see how it works! [​IMG] Chickens can be so mean!
     
  3. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I thought having the wire crate w/ chicks inside, placed in the chicken yard, would accomplish? [​IMG]
    I forgot to mention that I had the wire crate just on the outside of the pen for a a day before moving it inside the yard.
    I wonder if taking the chicks inside the house at nite is stalling the process? They must come in to be safe, until they can join the others at nite in the coop. [​IMG]
     
  4. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you put the wire crate in the coop? Where they can be safe yet socalized? Its a thought! The more time they have together the better! So they can get to know one another [​IMG]
     
  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think they may still be a bit young at 9 weeks, especially if one of your hens is super aggressive. I just put my pullets in with two of my older hens, and they are 16 weeks. I waited until they stopped making chick noises and were almost as big as the hens. Plus I have 7 pullets and a cockerel to the 2 hens, so they are outnumbered. There's been some chest bumping and a little chasing, but not major violence that I've seen yet.

    I know I've seen some people suggest that you keep a separate area that only the chicks can fit into (like a crate with a wire door that a larger hen can't get through), so they have a safe place to retreat to from the older hens. I don't know if that would help if the banty is the same size as the pullets though. You may just have to keep them separated in the crate, or corner off part of the run and coop just for them for a little longer.
     
  6. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all, good suggestions. [​IMG]

    P.S. Unfortunately, the 4x4 coop is too small to move the wire cage inside...
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  7. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm still new at this chicken thing, but when they get older and bigger and better able to hold their own, if this is still happening? I'd strongly consider putting your bully in timeout for a while, and letting the new babies find their place in the flock. Then bring your bully back out, and now she's the one trying to find a way to fit in, and she's the odd man out. Would put her more on the defense, where right now she's on the offense.
     
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:this was going to be my suggestion. If the bantum is good with the babies, let them stay in the run with him and put the bully in the crate for a couple of days. Then introduce HER into the flock.
     
  9. jeanniejayne

    jeanniejayne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm on my second group of inroductions to my flock now. I have been hatching all summer. My first intros were two BC Marans, who were introduced at about 3 months by putting a tractor inside the yard with the flock (we have a large fenced grassy yard adjacent to the big coop and run). I have mixed dozen Welsummers, Barred Rocks, 1 RIR and two black sex ln links. After a week or so, I let the Marans out for a few hours at a time. My biggest problem was with two Ameracauna/silkie mutt hens someone had given me, who were very aggressive. One especially would go after one of them when they went into the run area -- get them in a cornered and terrorize them. Well, I never liked those hens anyway, and I hate bullies, so we dispatched them. Since then we have not had any real problems. I am not saying this is everyone's solution, but we needed to do some culling, in any case.

    After they were ok all day out, for a few weeks (they slept in the tractor for several weeks) we put a separate little roost in the big coop, and now they sleep with the big guys.

    My second introduction is going on now, with two Buff Orps, in the same way. The Buffies run with the group during the day, and I shut them in the tractor at night so I know they are getting the higher-protein chick feed for PM and AM (they have access to layer mash all day). They are 3 mos.old. I let them out of the tractor before I go to work, and they go back in around 7 PM. I will wait another couple of weeks before inroducing them into the big coop at night. Then I have another 3 Black Aussies coming up, and that will be it (unless they all turn out to be Roos, which I fear both of the Marans are!).

    There is a great article in the latest Back Yard Poutry by Gail Damerow on this subject. Generally, she advises the same thing. Don't ever introduce just one newbie at a time, and do it once the young ones are fully feathered and fairly big, but not fully grown, so they are better tolerated, and do it gradually, with a fence between them for at least a week before gradually getting them incorporated into the main flock. This also gives their immune systems time to get accustomed to exposure to whatever gut flora your flock is carrying around.

    Make sure you have several feed and water stations -- put out extras for a few weeks -- so you know everyone has access.

    I hate to say it, but you may have to make a choice if your BA remains so aggressive. That one may prevent any new introductions. Or find a way to prevent her from getting the newbies cornered.

    Good luck!!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The chicks are still a little young for introduction to adults. If you wait until they are larger, I think that you will be more successful. When you again try the introduction remove the BA and introduce to the bantam alone for a day or two. When things settle down then introduce the BA.
     

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