- Jan 11, 2012
Hi, I'm new to raising chickens and need some suggestions. Two weeks ago I saved two hens from becoming supper. Everything was going great. I wanted 6-8 chickens, so I found some more and last Friday bought 4 more hens. I put the new hens in the coop with the other ones, and day 1 was fine but not so since. The original two chickens have not accepted or stopped picking on the new chickens. I have separated the two hens for two days in a dog crate in the run, but I have to put them in the coop at night because of cold weather. Nothing has changed. I have to go out at night and put the 4 new hens on the roosting pole so they can sleep on it. I have done this for 3 nights. The original hens also will not let the other hens out of the coop. They keep them huddled in a corner or on top of the nesting boxes while they stand guard on the floor. I also want them to free range a bit, but they won't leave the coop. If I want them to leave the coop I have to make them stay out by shutting it up. I even have to close off the run to keep them out of the run. The moment I open the coop up or the run the original two heard them inside. I throw out scratch and veggies to keep them encouraged but nothing works. The original two only want out around 5 every night. If they are not out, they will not let the others out. The original two are also picking on the 4 still. It will be a week tomorrow that I introduced them and I'm starting to worry. I think if they would roam around the yard they wouldn't pick on each other so much. I guess I need suggestions on how to get them to get along (maybe I'm worrying too much), and how to get them to stay out of the coop.