I'm Introducing some new hens, and have a srtrange problem - Any ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JacobMaxwell, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    16
    103
    Feb 1, 2013
    A little while ago, I bought six new ready to lay pullets. I checked for lice, mites, etc. and found them to be perfectly healthy. I kept them in an old small coop until dark, and then put them with the rest of my flock. The next morning, I checked them, and they were being pecked only a tiny bit. It wasn't extremely harsh or severe aggression. When I came back that afternoon, all of the new hens were stuffed into one nest box with was full of broken eggs and manure. It turns out that whenever they got just a tiny peck, they would run into the nest boxes. I can't have the new hens in there own small area, because they are all laying. I also can't block the nest boxes for that reason. The problem isn't the pecking, but the fearfulness of the new hens. I really don't want to clean up a mess like the one that was caused on the first day. Any ideas anyone?
     
  2. TTracy

    TTracy Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    21
    88
    Aug 8, 2013
    Western Michigan
    How long has it been going on? Has it gotten any better with time or the same?
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    82,530
    10,315
    816
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] maybe there is more than a little pecking going on. Maybe they are being bullied away from food and water and have every reason to run and hide. Can you divide the run into two using a temporary wire divider? This way both groups can see each other but, the Meanies can't attack the scaredcats. After a week or so the Trouble makers may have gotten disinterested and will leave the others alone. If you remove the barrier do it when you can spend a while watching and supervising what goes on. If it's only one or two perps that attack. You can put them in jail for a 2-3 days- during which time the pecking order may have changed. When you put them back into the flock they should be lower in rank and maybe not so inclined to peck anymore. If they are horrible maybe they should be re-homed.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    16
    103
    Feb 1, 2013
    I've been watching them, and they are not being scared away from the food or water at all. Just the odd peck here and there. I tried a wire partition for a little while, and that helped a little, but now the hens need the nest boxes in the house because they are all laying.
     
  5. micah O

    micah O Chillin' With My Peeps

    355
    5
    83
    Sep 23, 2013
    at the computer.
    i have the same problem.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,418
    195
    216
    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Temporary nest boxes in the partitioned area, you'll only need one or two. When you take the partition down move the temporary nests near the permanent ones for a while.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Sounds like your new girls need somewhere else to hide. Rubbermaid tubs on their sides are good, as are pieces of plywood leaned up against the side of the coop or run. Whatever breaks the line of sight usually distracts the chaser.
     
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    172
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama

    I concur. New young hens are always timid but a slight peck from an old hen only tells them to stay out of the old hens space, not for them to go hide in the nest box. Either the bully problem is worse then you realize or they are cramped for space.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by