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Integration and Pecking Order

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LilChickCoop, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. LilChickCoop

    LilChickCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Central Florida
    Good morning all.... yesterday was the day to integrate the new girl (18 mo old EE) into the pen with the other girls (6-7 mo. old BRmix, BO, and EE mix). We waited until the girls were roosting for about an hour. We then put the new girl into the roost with them for the night. For a while, all seemed well. This morning, as usual, the BR mix woke up and began her now daily routine of crowing. I went out to feed them and noticed that the new girl was still in the roosting area. When I took her out and placed her on the ground, the other three ganged up on her. She ran underneath the ramp and is still sitting there. It seems as if she is the bottom of the pecking order at this point despite her being the oldest. Should I take her out and put her back in her mini-coop? Should I leave her there? What should I do? The last integration I did wasn't this pronounced. Thanks for all of your help!!!
     
  2. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2009
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    I had the same problem with my faverolles, I had to try three differant times to intergrate the two of them.finally I just left them in there and it took a few days and then all was well,I would say leaver her in there but keep a close eye on them,I did put in an extra waterer and feeder for them.I swear by my water sqiurt bottle,I put it on stream and squirt the bully and it only takes a few times and they stop doing what they were doing,I keep it in my coop hanging on a hook and have used it many times for different unwanted behaviors.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    She was still on the roost to avoid the others. She is obviously intimidated by them, but her being in new surroundings may contribute to her timidness. Most chickens really hate any change. They are such creatures of habit.

    They are going to have to establish the pecking order. As long as she is not hurt, I would not take her out. I don't know your set-up, but some things I would consider doing.

    I'd set up at least two eating and drinking stations. The dominant ones will keep her away from the food and water as part of the intimidation process. If you have room, set something up to allow her to eat and drink. Separate dining facilities will also reduce the potential for conflict if she tries to eat from "their" feeder. This does not always work the way you would hope it would. When I try to feed a broody with chicks in a separate area away from the other adult birds, the other adults think that is a special treat and they'll go wipe that food out before they touch their regular feeder although it is exactly the same type of feed in both. I can't tell you how to do this. You'll just have to look at your existing space and try.

    I'm guessing your mini-coop is your quarantine pen, well away from the others. You might watch and see if one of your existing three is a ringleader in the attack. Take her out for a two or three days to see if that helps. Or take two out to keep each other company and just leave one with the new one. Then when you put them back together they are all confused and the new one is on more familiar territory.

    You can try to distract them by giving them some treats to work on. This won't keep them busy very long, but it gets their mind off being terrorists and onto eating. It seems to help get them to accept the new one a bit. After they finish the treats they may go back on the attack, but sometimes the renewed attacks are not as vicious.

    If you can house the new one for a few days with the others but behind wire where they can see each other but not get at each other, it seems to help reduce tension a lot when you do put them together. Not everyone has a set-up where they can do that.

    Sometimes nothing helps except to let them go at it. One of your existing hens may just be a mean sadistic bully. Your new hen may be such a weak-spirited chicken that the others will always pick on her. So much depends on the individual personalities. Most integrations like this are eventually successful but sometimes they are not very pretty. I wish you luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  4. LilChickCoop

    LilChickCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Central Florida
    Thank you guys so much for helping![​IMG]
     
  5. CONNIDORO

    CONNIDORO New Egg

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    If I put my new chickens in the pen with the older ones, will that effect my older hens and keep them from laying eggs?
     
  6. LilChickCoop

    LilChickCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Central Florida
    It may- just during an adjustment period..

    My update- Chaka Khan has come out of the coop! They are starting to integrate a little- she is still skidish around Shaquaria, but Fluffy and Freckles are friendly around her....
     

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