Horrible 1st Day

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rtfon111, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. rtfon111

    rtfon111 New Egg

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    Apr 20, 2017
    Hello fellow chicken owners! So I got 2 new pullets for my backyard flock. I had my other hens locked up, but apparently they escaped and went after the 2 new ones while I was setting up their temporary pen. My 2 new girls are terrified of the other hens and me. I've been trying to buy their affection with treats, bugs, food etc and it does not seem to be working. Does anyone have any advice for me to make these new ladies feel safe and at home?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC....sorry you're having trouble.

    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    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.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

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    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO: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

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