How long is too long?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sarandipity08, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. sarandipity08

    sarandipity08 Just Hatched

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    How long is too long for pecking and fighting when trying to introduce new chickens? When do you just give up and say they are not going to get along?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    More information needed: How many birds? In old flock, plus how many new ones are you trying to add? Ages of birds? How big is their coop? Their run? Dimensions of both, including height of coop, amount of roost space. What have you done until this point to integrate them, and what has happened? Without having a full picture of your set up, it's impossible to say what might be going on. Also, if you put general location in your profile, it helps to give climate specific advice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Depends on how many birds are introduced, how many are in the original flock, the ages of both groups, the breeds involved, how much space, diversions and individual attitudes.
     
  4. sarandipity08

    sarandipity08 Just Hatched

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    2 1 year old birds in original flock and introducing 2 2 year old birds. The run is about 9-10feet wide and 3-4 feet across. It's also about 8 feet high. The coop is about half that the new birds won't go near it though. I did visual introductions with 2 runs next to each other for over a week and then tried putting them together. One girl in particular got picked on like crazy. To the point where she had some blood on her head and missing feathers. I watched them for an entire day and it only let up a little bit. I then put a small dog kennel inside the run with my new birds for a few days so they were more intergeated but not touching. This morning I tried putting them together again and within a half hour my bullied girl already has a tiny bit of blood on her face. I live in northern cal it's been raining like crazy. But not super cold. I am currently typing this while standing inside the coop protecting my little
    Girl being bullied
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Like sizes and like numbers. You have that situation covered. At this point, I would remove the most aggressive bird and let the new ones take the original housing as their own. Then a week later restore the bully to the flock.
    Make sure there are multiple feed and water stations.
    Free ranging together makes things go easier because they have distractions and room to run.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  6. sarandipity08

    sarandipity08 Just Hatched

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    Should I remove her completely into another makeshift coop or just put her in the kennel inside the original coop? Thank you so much for your advice! I inherited these babies but I'm already in love.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I would put the bully out of view of all the other birds. That way, when you return her, she will be the new kid on the block.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    IMO, your housing is a bit on the tight size. Your new girls have no where to hide, get out of sight, get far enough away to satisfy chicken behavior protocol. When the bully says "Move!", what she's really saying is, "Get out of my sight. Go far away, or I'm going to rip your face off!" The new girl can't go far enough away to satisfy that request. So, the bully has to make good on her threat. If they were out free ranging, the new girl could satisfy that request, and the bully would be satisfied that the new girl knows her place in the pecking order. But, if she can't get away, the bully has to keep disciplining her.
     
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  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    And from my observations that distance seems to be 5-10 feet minimum, some require more, so small set ups have troubles because there's not enough room to satisfy that distance either in the coop or run.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Pretty accurate.

    Agrees space is a bit tight for integration..... tho probably fine for 4 birds that get along.
    Places to hide 'out of line of sight' (but not dead end traps) and/or get up and away from an aggressor can help a lot.
    Multiple feed/water station as far apart as possible also helps.

    You could remove the bully completely out of sight for a week or more, then if the remaining 3 are getting along reintroduce the bully.
    Might have to do some chicken juggling, mixing and matching who is with whom in which enclosure just to throw the wrench in the territoriality habits.
    It's all about territory and resources(space, feed, water)...but can turn into just a bad behavioral habit.

    ETA: Welcome to BYC @sarandipity08 ...and it can take days to weeks for an integration to reach a non bloody truce.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017

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