Hen Pecking on new birds!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lcharette, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. lcharette

    lcharette Hatching

    Aug 9, 2009
    My four hens are five months old. Two Red Sexlings and two Barred Rocks. I bought two 2 month old Americaunas a couple of days ago. I have kept them seperated for 3 days, but they could see each other. I introduced them this morning. The older hens are terribly mean. They are chasing, cornering and pecking. Do I need to worry that they will kill the new birds. It kills me to see them so picked on. Any suggestions? Should I just let them settle on their own?
  2. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Songster

    It will take at least 4 weeks for the original birds to accept new ones and then there is always the "pecking order" phenomenon that has to be gone through.
    Your older hens willdo damage to the younger if placed together too soon.
  3. The Zoo

    The Zoo Songster

    May 13, 2009
    Hayward, CA
    I kept my 2 new ones separated from my older hens for over 2 months before I would let them be together in the coop/pen. Even now the babies (at 20 weeks) roost on the poles I have in the pen and sleep behind the nesting boxes. The older hens are just mean to them.
    I have read that the older hens will kill them if given the opportunity so I'd keep them separated till your new ones are bigger.
  4. mbleily

    mbleily Songster

    Feb 20, 2008
    I have 6 teenager girls and three teenager boys (chickens) in a separate pen from the older girls. They have been in that pen in the hen house for about a month and a half. I have just now started to let them out for a little while each day with the hens. They are stay by me and expect me to protect them in the yard. LOL I have left them out for short periods by them selves and when I go back to check they have put themselves back in there little pen. They are getting way to big for the small pen so I want them to intergrate as soon as possible but the old biddies still like to peck them. When I had some last year it was the same thing. And that group still will bunch together at times.

    They are almost as big as a lot of the hens and bigger than some of the smaller ones. Like Checkers the Golden Campine. She was always picked on as a chick by her sisters and now she is trying to make up for it by picking on these youngsters. It is funny to see her do it because she is smaller than the roos that are coming up.

    Anyhow, this is how I do it. I am going to now fix their cage opening so only they can get into it. Some of the smaller one might be able to get in but I don't thing they will do much harm. And I will still keep close watch.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: