How much is too much?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by the lemon tree, May 12, 2010.

  1. the lemon tree

    the lemon tree Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    Today I attempted to integrate my 2 16-week old EEs with my 3 hens. It didn't go well. They were constantly picked on and some blood was drawn-there was a small speck of blood one of the EEs's combs. Granted, my coop/attached run is relatively small. The coop area is above ground (4 X 3) with a run underneath, as well as an additional run attached that is about 4 X 4. They have free access to the run, all the time. I previously had 5 in here (2 of them died-they all grew up together) and it worked out fine as they free range my yard most of the day anyway. I have a big yard so when they free range the EEs can easily avoid the hens. The EEs are absolutely terrified and I see no light at the end of this tunnel (but it's only been 1 day, 1 attempt).

    My question is-how much pecking is "normal"? The hens will peck, get distracted and retreat, and come back and peck again. It's hard to tell if this is just an acclimating period or they're really out to kill them. I let it go on for a little it but couldn't stand to hear my EEs' squacks from the attacks so I shut them back into their what-was-supposed-to-be-temporary dog crate.

    Any thoughts? Any hope?
  2. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I would try to let them free range together during the day for a few weeks, separating them at night. Then when they seem to be getting along better during the day try putting the new ones in the coop at night, once the established hens have gone to roost. Usually when they wake up in the morning together all is well, usually...
  3. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    I read in one of the other areas (think it was under raising baby chicks) that if you keep them seperated for a week or two by chicken wire, where they can see each other without being able to touch each other prior to fully integrating them, they integrate much better. You may try that and see what happens.

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