How to get my new hen to calm down? She keeps screaming and is terrified of my existing hen!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by candyisland90, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. candyisland90

    candyisland90 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2016
    I've had a black bantam hen (Chirpie) for a little less than a year now, she seems to be about a year old as of today. Anyway, yesterday I bought a brown bantam to keep her company. She's probably a few months younger but she's full grown and no longer a pullet.

    I know about how they'll fight to establish a pecking order and decided to just let them iron out their issues by placing them in the same cage. Chirpie is a really sweet bird-- in fact, it was the new hen who started the fire! Chirpie let her peck at her many times without retaliating but eventually she had enough of it and fought back. Funnily, Chirpie won in the end and now the new hen is terrified of her new room-mate.

    Chirpie isn't even being hostile any more, just lumbering around pecking at things but the new hen is so scared she won't stop screaming and trying to run away from Chirpie. How do I calm her down and just let the both of them live in harmony?

    Also I'll add that the new hen is quite quiet by nature too, at the store she was really composed and also when we took her away from Chirpie she wouldn't make any noise, so I'm sure that it isn't because she's about to lay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    What breed of bantams do you have?
    How big is your coop/cage and run?
    Do you have pictures?
    Did you check your new hen for any injuries?

    Ideally when you get a new chicken it should be quarantined for a period of time to ensure that it is healthy, free of parasites and worms.
    Then once the quarantine period is over you would slowly introduce your new chicken to her flockmate with a "see but don't touch" type of method. Like a separate cage where they can see each other, but no harm or pecking can come to either one. Since the new one has been placed in the same pen with the other one, quarantine wouldn't make sense.

    I would assume your new hen feels a bit trapped and overwhelmed if she is trying to get away from Chirpie. Is there room in the coop to block off an area that she can have by herself. Let her have her own space with food and water, so she will feel safe. Or if you could place her in a small pet carrier inside the coop, that way she and chirpie can see each other, but cannot have physical contact.
    Once they are more used to each other, then gradually let them be together, yes there will be some show of stances, but all out fighting, they would need to be separated.
     
  3. candyisland90

    candyisland90 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2016
    Hi, thanks for the response!
    I think Chirpie is a dutch bantam, not too sure about the new hen. This is part of the cage, I would say the picture shows 3/4 of it.
    We sometimes let them out to free range, and yes the new hen is healthy.

    [​IMG]

    They aren't fighting or scuffling any more, but the new hen is just very scared of Chirpie although she is extremely docile. Chirpie isn't even trying to attack her or be aggressive in any way, she's just minding her own business scratching around and eating.

    But even though she isn't being bullied or disturbed the new hen keeps screaming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    They are both adorable!
    Looks like they are getting along. It's all new to her I suppose and she is just scared. Hopefully she will soon calm down and all will be well.[​IMG]
     
  5. candyisland90

    candyisland90 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2016
    Oooh I see. That's reassuring to hear, it's quite unsettling seeing her so distressed and afraid!
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If she doesn't settle or seems quite stressed, do you have another cage to put her in?
    She may need to be apart from chirpie, but be able to see her, so she can get used to her new environment.
     
  7. candyisland90

    candyisland90 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2016
    Ah, she's all settled down now and a friendship seems to be blossoming, I think it should be fine. Thank you so much for the advice!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Oh I do hope so!
    Chickens do seem to finally work things out, they do like to have a friend[​IMG]
    Good Luck!

    You are always welcome to post more about your girls and ask questions. I have found everyone here BYC to be friendly and helpful.
     

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