I could REALLY use some advice, please...

TJsGoldenGirls

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
29
0
24
We are very novice chicken keepers. We got three pullets 2 weeks ago from a ranch where they were raised. The three were brought home together, stayed in the coop for a full week before I let them out in the yard and established their pecking order quite well, and with no blood shed. That was until one pullet matured seemingly overnight, into a very mean cockerel. So 2 weeks into this adventure we were back to the ranch to trade the roo for a pullet. As per much advice, I've sectioned her off in the attached run, where she sleeps at night. I've also gated off half of their yard so that she can still be outside. Trouble is, she flies over the gate to be with the other chickens, they rush her and peck her and she flies back over. Today, I sat in the run with all 3 of them and opened the dividing gate, the queen bee rushed at her, the newbie ran and hid, and that was that. As long as she didn't come near them, she was left alone. But that is just it, she is all alone. Will the other two ever let her be part of the flock? She wants to roost with them, she tries to get out of her little section of coop, and seems to HATE her life here. I'm humanizing a chicken, I know, but I want all my animals to be happy. Her living quarters are less than ideal the very left section of this coop is wired off for her. The original girls get the rest, including the hen house with roosting bar. I've given newbie a bar and a milk crate with some pine shavings, food and water (which she has spilled over twice already, trying to escape her prison), and we've coved two sides and half the roof with boards to protect her from wind. She hates it. It's 10 at night and I hear her pecking at the wire, trying to find a way out.

This is their yard, it's about 60x5' and I've divided it in half (the BO is the roo we got rid of). Newbie on one side and the other two get the other side. Newbie flies over the divid and then just gets chased right back over. Chickens are social animals and I know I should have gotten two new, rather than one, but I'm not allowed more than 3 in my city. I just don't know what to do. Do I just let them duke it out or should I keep her separated for an unknown amount of time? She tries to fly away from everything and I'm so afraid she'll ignore the coop because it sucks for her and take off. I've clipped her wing, but it doesn't seem to help. She's a great forager, but I've not seen her eat much feed, or drink much for that matter, she's stressed and upset. What is the order of operations here? Duke it out in the yard (and when?) then let them be in the coop and attached run together (that same day)? I'm so fresh to this that I have no clue what to do for her. She runs from me, I try to pick her up a lot, pet her, bring her treats, keep her cool, she just seems unhappy. Please, someone guide me. I know I should have gotten another, and I just couldn't so given my situation, what do I do? And also, looking at her sad quarters, how long would you feed comfortable having a 5 month old Australourp in that space? Sorry this is so long, but i really needs some help, we just got the new bird, Miss Kay, yesterday, so I know I'm being a bit impatient. Thank you 1000x!
 

Bronya

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
40
0
34
birmingh uk.
I've just introduced another two hens to my flock and I had a similar, all be it not as aggressive situation. Most of the time letting them hash it out is a good idea, it help to restore the pecking order, but I think monitoring them is wise.
I normally let the girls out together and just keep an eye on them, if you get your queen bee having a little go at your other pullet, just keep in mind its a natural thing. Obviously don't let her get to hurt, but a peck here and other is good for them. If she starts having a go, just stand between them and start again a little later. They will get used to one another eventually. In some cases you may have to seperate for good, but I've get to find a flock that can't sort it out sooner or later. Good luck xx
 

TJsGoldenGirls

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
29
0
24
Thanks very much. My post was so long, I'm so grateful that anyone even read it! So, do you think I should allow them to be in the coop together, without the dividing wire?
 

HeatherEmme

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 4, 2013
148
11
83
If you've only just got her, you should probably wait it out a bit. They can't be expected to adjust to each other overnight. They are flock animals and your chicken is probably uncomfortable alone, but your other two need time to accept her presence IMO. I've read they can peck each other to death!
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TJsGoldenGirls

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
29
0
24
Yes, being pecked to death is not something I want to encounter for any of my chickens. They are in the yard together and the original birds don't pay much attention to the newbie unless she is near something they want or if she comes to their end of the yard. I've seen a few feathers pulled and a peck to the face, no blood and no continuous fighting. I've taken down the wire divid in the coop and will see if they can roost together tonight. I'm hoping that after a day outside together withou too much hoopla, they'll at least be ok to sleep together, but I could be hoping for too much. I just don't know if I am doing the right thing or acting too fast. They have been able to see and not touch for 3 days in the coop. I'll have to watch closely and if it doesn't work, put the wire back up. I feel awful for her.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,849
11,001
636
western South Dakota
Well, take a look at the pair, and pull the most aggressive one. Put that hen in solitary confinement, and let the other two duke it out. One to One is not bad odds, and they will settle it in a day or two......WAIT.... for about a week. Let these two get together..... then put the bully back in. Now technically you are in the same boat as when you added the newbie, but I am betting that the aggressive bird will not take much.

but, then again, you just might be happier with two hens. MrsK
 

TJsGoldenGirls

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
29
0
24
The original two let the new bird sleep in the coop last night. It took about 35 min of everyone trying to settle in before she was allowed to sleep in a nesting box. I guess this is progress but she won't come down out of the coop. The others are out and eatin and it's like she's a little prisoner. I've put food up there for her, but she's just so sad. I feel awful. If I start separation birds will it just prolong the initiations or at this point is it a must? I just dont want to drag out the pain for the new bird, but I think gettin the meanie out is a good idea. Thanks Si much.
 

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