Integration Issue! Advice Appreciated!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dawnclucks22, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Dawnclucks22

    Dawnclucks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey everyone. Right now I'm working on integrating my easter egger into our main flock. I've started putting her in the coop at night with the others, but it's small because we only have five birds total. A lot of the time they start bullying her inside and I try to sort things out by going in but my EE runs outside. I'm worried they might hurt her. I've heard you shouldn't intervene with the pecking order but I hate to watch them treat her like that. Is this normal? I tend to hang around until I hear the noise die down and they settle down to sleep. I let them out early so this doesn't happen in the morning either.
    With my last integration project it wasn't like this at all; my newbies even followed the main girls into the coop and there was no squabbling or anything (although I let them out early just in case). Sorry about the really long question, but any advice would help! Thanks BYC! :p
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    How old are they all? Sounds like you are doing things right, I personally would intervene anytime the pecking is excessive.
     
  3. Dawnclucks22

    Dawnclucks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The "bullies" are about 2-3 years and my EE started laying a few weeks ago (6 months). I do have another hen who doesn't mind my EE who is about 10 months. Thanks :)
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Your existing hens see her as an intruder into their territory, so they are trying to drive her out. Your EE is running like she's supposed to but can't actually leave. Generally you should pen them side by side for a while until they get used to her being around. Otherwise what you are doing sounds good, you definitely don't want them to corner her and really start pecking her. It can take some time for them to accept her or at least tolerate her. You are experienced with integrating so that helps, this time is a bit harder, keep at it.
     
    CTKen likes this.
  6. Dawnclucks22

    Dawnclucks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you a lot :) the only problem is that they only do this inside the coop. They free-range together during the day. Should I go back to penning?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    It depends how you feel about it. I am personally too cautious sometimes, and might separate at night for a while, others say just let them work it out. Only you can see if it looks to be excessive aggression or if it's just mostly noise.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    That's a hard one. Since she's laying you want her to have access to the coop during the day and it sounds like that part is working out OK. it's at night you have the problem. The small coop isn't helping matters any either. Integration is usually less stressful if there is a lot of room, but it can still be a problem. If she is getting beat up it's normal for her to try to find a safer place. As they are going to bed is usually when mine are most brutal toward each other.

    As long as she has access to lay her egg when she wants to, I don't see any issues with her sleeping separately for a while if you have that capability. Usually mine are mature enough to force their way into the pecking order around when they start to lay, though that can be a month after. Mine have been raised with the flock and have been used to sleeping with them anyway, just not on the main roosts. I keep a separate juvenile roost for them. You are in a different situation.

    If you can my suggestion is to let her sleep somewhere else and range with the others during the day. At some point she'll probably move in with the others on her own. If she doesn't within the next month or so you might try again.
     
    aart likes this.

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