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HELP, understanding chicken behaviour

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eeiko321, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. eeiko321

    eeiko321 Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    hi people.

    this is my very first post to the forum.
    glad to meet you all.

    my first question is.

    ive so far had 1 Hen for 2 weeks, it flew in from somewhere and unknown about its past.

    im not sure how old it is, but the crown on it seems really red and it does lay eggs.

    anyhow, since ive read that chickens are sociable creatues, i decided to add an extra hen to it. cause it did seem a bit lonley.

    this new chicken is aprox around 6 months old. and i can tell that it is younger than the original one.

    i intrduced it today, and from the looks of it...the oriignal hen doesnt seem very happy and is acting very weirdly.

    it squarks alot and chases the new younger one around non stop. the young one seem terrified of it.

    what should i do? is this a territorial thing? pecking order?

    or is this something simple that can take time for it to get used to?
    becase i live in a dense suburban area, i dont have alot of room, so its gonna have to share the same coop.

    any help would be appreciated.

    thanks guys
  2. chickmamawannabe

    chickmamawannabe Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    Canby, Or-y-gun
    First of all, [​IMG]

    Secondly, you should always keep new chickens quarantined for about a month just to make sure you're not passing anything on to your flock, but since you don't really know where your first hen came from it could be her that might pass something on to your new hen. [​IMG] Anyway, I wouldn't really worry about the behavior you're describing. It sounds perfectly normal. Obviously, your first hen is the dominant one, and she's making sure the newcomer knows it. As soon as that's settled, things will calm down. Good luck!
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging


    You are correct, they are just settling the pecking order. Most folks on here suggests putting them in the same pen, but with a wire barrier between them for awhile, until they get used to each other. Its been my experience that some amount of this will transpire anyway when they get back in the same pen again. Its nature's way of establishing flock dominance and they should settle down when the "rules" have been layed down by the older gal.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum! [​IMG]
  4. eeiko321

    eeiko321 Songster

    Sep 1, 2008

    thanks for the prompt reply
    its much appreciated!
    such a good feeling coming to a real helpful forum! [​IMG]

    but i wonder, how long would this pecking order last?

    also im wondering, i may buy a larger coop next week.
    is there any advice on what to do if moving the 2 hens into it?
    should i do this when they are both used to each other?

    and what should i do with the 2 existing eggs from the older hen?

    i have not yet eaten any of its eggs. because it seems to really stress out when it cant see its eggs.

    any advice on that?
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  6. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I agree that she may be broody (trying to hatch eggs). Take those eggs & show her who's boss! She'll get over it.
  7. eeiko321

    eeiko321 Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    Quote:take ALL THOSE EGGS?

    ive taken 2 and left 2.

    apparently i read that u should always leave at least leave 1 or 2 in the nest.

    the other thing is, since last night i introduced the new young hen.
    the original spot where the 2 left over eggs are... it stopped brooding at that spot. it slept at a totally different spot leaving those 2 eggs cold.

    i have a few theories...
    either a new hen made her lose intrest in brooding.


    since this is the first time i stole the 2 eggs... it also has lost intrest.

    or simply a mixture of both?

    im gonna move them both soon to a smaller coop:/
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with all the previous posts. They are establishing the pecking order. They will work it out. It could take a couple of weeks or more. I put golf balls in the nests and they think they're eggs and push the balls under them. I put 1 ball in each nest box. Do you have any idea what breeds the birds are? Eat the eggs.
  9. eeiko321

    eeiko321 Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    Quote:one is an ISA brown and the other is some sort of rhode island red.

    i might just buy a nesting box. so it can lay it in there

    thanks heaps

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