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integrating new flock members and parting with some... suggestions needed!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KelsT, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. KelsT

    KelsT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 hens that are around 7 months old.

    I have been integrating 5 new chickens that are 2 and 3 months old.
    3 of the newbies are 2 months about and are all polish 1 boy and 2 girls
    2 of the newbies are 3 months 1 polish & 1 ameraucana


    right now there are 5 of each group so the newbies are not out numbered....

    2 of the newbies are getting picked on more then the others one has lost a good amount of her crest but there is no skin injuries and the other has been getting her tail/back feathers picked out and she has some blood. (I am picking up Viks vapor rub to try that and see if it helps.) I don't see any nasty open wound or anything but i know she is very unhappy and tries to hide all the time.

    that said I think I need to downsize as I don't have time to expand the run right now and I think 8 is the max I should have to avoid more problems. I am very uncertain about keeping the boy (he looks awesome and is friendly so far but has yet to crow and is still young. I am not sure how he would do as a rooster being polish with all my other hens that are larger then he will be, and as I dont have enough space at the moment maybe silly to keep him.

    I was thinking of parting with the polish boy and the 2 polish girls that seem to be getting picked on in hopes that it would help sort out the flock issues.

    I am hesitant to part with them though because that would leave 2 newbies that are at least 4 month younger then my other girls....


    I have been keeping them all in the same run for at least a month now and they are still not really been accepted by the older hens ... have no idea how long this is supposed to take!....

    I put the new ones in the big coop a night ago during night time and there was no fighting but soon as day time came that all went back to hiding in their water melon box.


    Do I have to many so they arn't integrating?
    Does it take longer then a month normally?
    would I be better off parting with some of the new girls or will the new ones left get picked on really bad because they are out numbered?
     
  2. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well the first mistake is to bring new young birds and put them in the same closed space with older birds, it doesn't matter if the numbers are even or whatsoever, they are not going to form tow clans and make boundaries. if you can let them free range that will simply be a great solution, if you can't, you can make another coop/run for the new batch until they all grow up, or you can upgrade the run, and you can add some hiding places for the birds like putting perches in the run as well as logs, more feederes and waterers(chickens are mostly territorial around food and water, so providing several federes/waterers will reduce violence and ensure the bullied ones are getting their share of the food and water)...etc if you can't do that either, or if it doesn't work and the situation is getting worse, it would be wise to rehome the birds that are being attacked badly, and observe the remaining birds for further assaults.
    That's what i can quickly say for now. So good luck and tell us what you end up doing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
    2 people like this.
  3. KelsT

    KelsT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok,
    They have 3 feeder and 3 waters right now. I guess I thought i could introduce them at this age..... I had them together but not able to get to each other for 2 weeks prior to cutting small doors into the watermelon box...
     
  4. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not in a small confined space! But when they all grow up they will tolerate each other better and establish a pecking order which makes everything smoother. How big is you run/coop. And pictures of the birds/setup would definitely help!
     
  5. KelsT

    KelsT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    run is 8x11.5 coop is 4x8

    [​IMG]

    I also put a bunch of branches in their as well as hiding places.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. KelsT

    KelsT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan on adding on but dont think it will happen until next spring unless its something temporary as a set up for now. I could move a cattle pannel hoop house over there and finish off the ends then make them a door between the 2 for the moment.
     
  7. KelsT

    KelsT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    would adding roosts in the run help?
     
  8. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes adding roosts will help a lot. The run is quite small for a younger new group to fit in with an older flock.
    Can you let the free range?
    Are they still getting bullied a lot?
    I would start finding homes for those who are seriously getting hurt. And if the rooster is not getting attacked do not worry you can keep him and the ladies will eventually consider him the flock master(size doesn't matter ;) )
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. KelsT

    KelsT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hesitant to let them free range we have lost cats to coyote before they might be fine but it's a risk I have a fenced in garden that's about done producing but I'm still getting tomatoes otherwise have let them into the garden. I don't know how much they're getting bullied or what a lot would be I don't normally see it but I do see that they're missing feathers they often hide in the watermelon box my leg horn I think is the culprit and I was thinking about putting her in a dog crate for a couple hours today and seeing if that helps
     
  10. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If i were you i would let them free range in the fenced area. Besides not all chickens are fans of tomatoes! Mine aren't at least. Give them some more time if you so not see serious injuries... And observe them more, that helps solve the problem a lot!
     
    1 person likes this.

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