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I have been going about this all wrong

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by unbaked pegga, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. unbaked pegga

    unbaked pegga Songster

    Nov 22, 2014
    Mt Juliet Tn
    I just realized after reading some posts about integrating chickens into a flock, that I have been going about this all wrong. I got to Orpington pullets about half the size of the three that I already had. I kept them in a cage and in a "peck and play" for two weeks or a little longer. Then I set them out and it has been a mess right from the get go. I have been getting after the older hens from going after the pullets. It startles me and I have been scolding them like I did my children when they were little and one was being mean to the others. I should not have interfered. I was about half asleep in the hammock a little while ago and all at once I never heard such squabbling. I threw my empty drink bottle at one of the offenders. I don't know why it took me so long to realize I am interfering with the natural order of things. Makes me ashamed of myself:/:/:/

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Isn't it amazing that they don't respond to commands in English!

    Best thing is to remove the two most aggressive birds for a few days to let the 3 remaining birds become friends. Then return one of the others. If all goes well, return the other after several more days.
    Integrating birds that are half the size of the established flock into the main housing and fewer in number is a recipe for disaster.

    One should always introduce like numbers and like sizes.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  3. In my experience...Leave them to be Chickens...They will figure it out. What looks mean to us, is only natural to a Chicken..Pecking order is so strong in a flock...It might take weeks? As long as no blood is shed? Back off and let the process finish..By interfering your prolonging the results your looking for. Extra food and water stations may need to be set out?

    Normal chicken dynamics..
  4. Never be ashamed of yourself...We all have to try different things...What we learn along the way only makes us better at raising Birds.

  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Agreed. This chicken-keeping thing is an ongoing learning experience. (Kind of like life, really.) Anyway, keep learning and enjoy your birds. Don't overthink it - that to me is the biggest thing. Their basic needs are food, water and shelter. When integrating, make sure you have lots of space, and hiding places for the younger ones to escape to. Plywood leaning against the run walls, a pallet on cinder blocks, that kind of thing. Always have two ends open so a chicken can't get trapped. Multiple feeding and watering stations would help,too, as would free ranging if you can.

    Enjoy your chickens.

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