Integrating/chest bumping

birdlady79

Songster
5 Years
Jan 29, 2014
583
19
103
West Tennessee
Hi... I've been reading on intergrating flock members... I've have two 5 wk old SS that I'm working in... Since my chickens who vary in weeks 10/6 free-range; I am putting the SS out there every evening when I feed the others to try and get use to each other.....

The 3 biggest ones of course peck-chase them, so I take them away...my 2 BA don't mess with them.. . I'm going to have to do the dog crate I'm assuming..... The last two days after I remove the chicks, my BO and Wellie run towards each other and bump chest plus puff up.... Then they immediately stop.... I'm just wondering if this is a pecking order issue? I have never noticed it any other time....

As the SS get a tad bigger and I use the crate, do you think the pecking/chasing will ease?
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
In the end, you will have to let them work out their own pecking order, and yes, that will involve some pecking, and other behaviors like chest bumping and chasing. If you've had them together for short periods, they may be ready to be integrated. The usual approach is, if no blood is drawn, everything is fine.
 

TheEggCollecter

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
520
45
113
Massachusettes
I am in the process of integrating new birds into my flock too. This is my third time doing this, and I have found some things that help. Before the new hens come I fence off a small portion of the run to put the new ones in for a week. I attach a large dog crate to the mini run for the newbie to stay in. I lock the old hens in there coop at night and the new ones in the dog crate. I place the feeders and water at the same spot on either sides of the fence. This allows the birds to eat, drink, and spend time with each other in code quarters. After one week at night I place the newbie on the roost at night. In the morning there isn't much fighting because they are used to each other by now. After one more week everything is peaceful. My first time that I added new birds to my flock I just put the new ones in with the older and there was fighting, pecking, chest bumping, and a couple of birds were bleeding on there combs. It took close to a month for the squabbling to die down. So far the temporary fenced in method has worked for me and there has been no blood drawn since then. Lastly don't interfere unless there is blood being drawn, the more you break up the fighting the longer it takes to sort things out, I learned that from my own mistakes!

Hope This Helps,
TheEggCollecter
 

birdlady79

Songster
5 Years
Jan 29, 2014
583
19
103
West Tennessee
I am in the process of integrating new birds into my flock too. This is my third time doing this, and I have found some things that help. Before the new hens come I fence off a small portion of the run to put the new ones in for a week. I attach a large dog crate to the mini run for the newbie to stay in. I lock the old hens in there coop at night and the new ones in the dog crate. I place the feeders and water at the same spot on either sides of the fence. This allows the birds to eat, drink, and spend time with each other in code quarters. After one week at night I place the newbie on the roost at night. In the morning there isn't much fighting because they are used to each other by now. After one more week everything is peaceful. My first time that I added new birds to my flock I just put the new ones in with the older and there was fighting, pecking, chest bumping, and a couple of birds were bleeding on there combs. It took close to a month for the squabbling to die down. So far the temporary fenced in method has worked for me and there has been no blood drawn since then. Lastly don't interfere unless there is blood being drawn, the more you break up the fighting the longer it takes to sort things out, I learned that from my own mistakes!

Hope This Helps,
TheEggCollecter :cd


Thank you so much... I was trying to break mine up every time they pecked the 2 little ones.... I'll stop doing that... I'm going to try the dog crate... Usually since mine free range, I lock the little ones in the run and leave the big ones out... They can still get in coop just not in run... I'll try the dog crate at night when this rain stops!! Lol
 

TheEggCollecter

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
520
45
113
Massachusettes
Thank you so much... I was trying to break mine up every time they pecked the 2 little ones.... I'll stop doing that... I'm going to try the dog crate... Usually since mine free range, I lock the little ones in the run and leave the big ones out... They can still get in coop just not in run... I'll try the dog crate at night when this rain stops!! Lol

You are Welcome, hope everything works out.:thumbsup
 

birdlady79

Songster
5 Years
Jan 29, 2014
583
19
103
West Tennessee
You are Welcome, hope everything works out.:thumbsup

Things were going better until 1 got eaten by a hawk this morning... She was the bigger of the two.. Sweetest too....I am devestated and it was a hard lesson to learn ... Now I just have the 1.... It's going to be really hard to work her in isn't it? They seem to pick on her more so than the one that died.... I'm scared she's a) going to get depressed bc she's alone now b) they will not ever except her..
 

TheEggCollecter

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
520
45
113
Massachusettes
Things were going better until 1 got eaten by a hawk this morning... She was the bigger of the two.. Sweetest too....I am devestated and it was a hard lesson to learn ... Now I just have the 1.... It's going to be really hard to work her in isn't it? They seem to pick on her more so than the one that died.... I'm scared she's a) going to get depressed bc she's alone now b) they will not ever except her..
Omg, I am so sorry.
You might want to think about getting another hen the same age as her to comfort her. Trying to integrate just one is rough. They will pick on her to no end and most likely will draw blood. She will have a hard time getting food and water too. Lastly, she might get depressed with nobody to keep her company.
 

birdlady79

Songster
5 Years
Jan 29, 2014
583
19
103
West Tennessee
Omg, I am so sorry. :hit You might want to think about getting another hen the same age as her to comfort her. Trying to integrate just one is rough. They will pick on her to no end and most likely will draw blood. She will have a hard time getting food and water too. Lastly, she might get depressed with nobody to keep her company.

Thank you!! I was afraid of that... It will prob be hard for me to find a 6 week old pullet... I will check in to though... I don't want cull her, but I don't want her killed either.... I've got myself a dilemma... :(
 

birdlady79

Songster
5 Years
Jan 29, 2014
583
19
103
West Tennessee
Hope it works out, let me know. :fl

Hi, well I found her a friend.... She's tiny compared to her, but she has taken her under her wing and taken care of her.... The new one is a SLW and is a spitfire.... She's 3.5 weeks now...

I've seperated those two outside from my others.... Today I got off work really late... My DH moved the coop and their wire fell down. The big ones went in coop for bed time and the 2 little ones followed. The SLW couldn't get on roost so he put her up there...

I freaked out when I got home bc they wernt in run... I looked in the coop and they are all spread out.... I made a hiding spot of smaller ones..... I will seperate in morning again... Do you think when they all wake up in moring that all heck will break loose? The top two hens still peck them quite a bit... I'm scared. Lol
 

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