Integration is going awful

Imachickenmama

Songster
Feb 13, 2013
120
29
141
Oregon
Help!!!! I recently got two lavender Orpington pullets. 20 weeks or so. They are huge. And a roo. He joined my flock of 8 with no problems. The girls love him. However, if they are allowed near the new girls they will all gang up on them relentlessly, the rooster even joined in :( I have tried to introduce them to just a couple at a time . It goes horrible every time. It's not the normal show each other who's boss. I think they will actually kill them. It's brutal. I've integrated chickens, and it's always been ugly , but this is a while new level. I don't know what to do. The rooster sleeps with the new girls , then joins the old girls in the am. They have been side by side for a month.
Do I need to get more hens so there is less focus on just the two?
Take the roo out completely?
Make many chicken time outs?
Any help would be appreciated.
Our old flock consist of 2 Reds, 2 Barred, 2 Orpingtons, 2 silver laced wynadotte.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,814
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Colorado Rockies
When you got the two newest chickens, did you simply toss them into the existing flock? Or did you gradually allow them all to become acquainted with a see-through barrier separating them?

Being younger, yet full grown, the new ones are naturally wary and a little fearful of the home flock. The home flock, at the same time, view the new girls as foreign invaders, and it's normal for them to make it clear to the newcomers that they are lower than the dirt they all walk on. They are all behaving predictably.

If you didn't expose the two groups to one another via a see-through barrier, it's time to go back to the starting point and do it right. When I introduce a new adult chicken to the flock, I give it a three-week gradual process, letting the new girl sleep in the coop at night since that speeds up the process. Chickens are not very likely to gang up on a newbie after they are all trying to settle in for the night.

Here's a write-up of how I go about introducing a newcomer. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/ It includes all of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but in the end, everyone accepts the new girl.
 

Imachickenmama

Songster
Feb 13, 2013
120
29
141
Oregon
Nope. They weren't tossed in. I waited 3 weeks before any attempts. They could see each other at all times. And sleep about 3 inches apart from each other.

When you got the two newest chickens, did you simply toss them into the existing flock? Or did you gradually allow them all to become acquainted with a see-through barrier separating them?

Being younger, yet full grown, the new ones are naturally wary and a little fearful of the home flock. The home flock, at the same time, view the new girls as foreign invaders, and it's normal for them to make it clear to the newcomers that they are lower than the dirt they all walk on. They are all behaving predictably.

If you didn't expose the two groups to one another via a see-through barrier, it's time to go back to the starting point and do it right. When I introduce a new adult chicken to the flock, I give it a three-week gradual process, letting the new girl sleep in the coop at night since that speeds up the process. Chickens are not very likely to gang up on a newbie after they are all trying to settle in for the night.

Here's a write-up of how I go about introducing a newcomer. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/ It includes all of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but in the end, everyone accepts the new girl.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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They have been side by side for a month.
Try putting one of the old flock, the 'nicest' one, into the new girls pen.
See how that goes, if it doesn't work try a different one.
Idea is to get some of them to 'bond'....then integrate them all.
Chicken Juggling!

Do they all free range together...or are they all confined??
How big is your coop(s) and run(s)?
Dimensions and pics would help.
 

Imachickenmama

Songster
Feb 13, 2013
120
29
141
Oregon
Today I put some of what I thought were the lower girls. I'm thinking maybe the one that was so awful to her is may be now at the top of the pecking order with the roo here. But my attempts with the other lower girls have been awful.
We have a fenced run that is about 500 sq ft, with a barn connected that's about 300 sq ft. So that whole space is available to all of them. That's the space I've been trying to introduce them in. My chickens normally just free range. But the new girls are scared to death of people and have spent a week in bushes before we could catch them again. So they are in a space the two of them in the barn.
Try putting one of the old flock, the 'nicest' one, into the new girls pen.
See how that goes, if it doesn't work try a different one.
Idea is to get some of them to 'bond'....then integrate them all.
Chicken Juggling!

Do they all free range together...or are they all confined??
How big is your coop(s) and run(s)?
Dimensions and pics would help.
 

FishMtFarm

Emu whisperer
Jan 2, 2017
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Lake Pleasant, NY
Today I put some of what I thought were the lower girls. I'm thinking maybe the one that was so awful to her is may be now at the top of the pecking order with the roo here. But my attempts with the other lower girls have been awful.
We have a fenced run that is about 500 sq ft, with a barn connected that's about 300 sq ft. So that whole space is available to all of them. That's the space I've been trying to introduce them in. My chickens normally just free range. But the new girls are scared to death of people and have spent a week in bushes before we could catch them again. So they are in a space the two of them in the barn.

The lowest girls on the totem pole will be the most aggressive as they don’t want to be the lowest so that definately won’t work.
 

123RedBeard

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 20, 2014
1,423
1,848
336
Arizona
I'd try letting the new girls and boy out into the big run, leaving all the old girls in their coop, except one of the Orpington's ... let her out by herself out into the big run ... see how that goes ...
 

Imachickenmama

Songster
Feb 13, 2013
120
29
141
Oregon
My Orpingtons are not my roosters favorites at all. They tend to be loners. So this is a good idea.
I'd try letting the new girls and boy out into the big run, leaving all the old girls in their coop, except one of the Orpington's ... let her out by herself out into the big run ... see how that goes ...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,641
130,475
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Important parts of the 'basics':
Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
 

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