Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickencrazy429, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. No I didn't do the roost theory...

    3 vote(s)
  2. Yes I did it. It worked but I didn't like it.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Yes I did it. It worked and I liked it!

    1 vote(s)
  4. Yes I did it and it went horribly. I wish it would have worked.

    0 vote(s)
  5. Yes I did it. It went alright....

    2 vote(s)
  1. Why hello there!!! I have 7 chickens-- three hens that are 3 years old, and four pullets that are four months old... I'm going to integrate them after I get back from vacation on the 16th. I really wanted to try the roost theory where you put the ones you're going to integrate on the roost late at night... Then the hens are supposed to wake up and just kinda go along with it. The problem is-- my hens have seen my chicks a TON. They would free range as two different flocks, but they would sometimes cross paths, and my hens would chase them off. They're kind of aggressive hens too.... I wanted to try the theory cause it sounded like a quick and *almost* painless integration process if it worked. But I know that it's a total gamble. Should I try it?! If you have done that then PLEASE let me know how it went and if you liked it!! ESPECIALLY if you have aggressive hens!!! Mine are as sweet as can be to each other, and to humans but not the nicest to new chickens... They normally chase them off and grab a feather or two then leave them alone until they get out of the hens' way. So they're not like peck-them-til-they-die sort of aggression, but they're just not very nice. So PLEASE tell me how your integration process went and what you did ESPECIALLY if you had aggressive hens!!! Thanks!!! -chickencrazy429
  2. lavender pekins

    lavender pekins Chirping

    Jun 16, 2012
    I tend to just shove them all in there and let them sort it out and i only intervene when it gets to the stage when it just isn't working. expect to see a little blood but that should be all!

  3. Vicky2479

    Vicky2479 Chirping

    Jun 8, 2012
    I have 1 or 2 original hens that will pick on any new chicken if they come to close (i have to be careful when trying to catch a chook in my yard as i ahve 1 hen who will come flying over and attack as soon as i have got hold of one, it is the only time she shows aggression and I often get bitten by accident in the process) I tend to do the separate pen thing for a while then free ranging together, eventually the new ones decide to join the others in the main coop, rarely will I force the issue and never before they have spent sometime getting to know each other. I personally would not use the roost method as I don't have an automatic door opener so if I am not able to get out to the coop at dawn then the new ones are stuck in a very confined space with nowhere to escape (I have seen pullets with heads buried in corners trying to survive an attack)
  4. I was going to get up early that day to make sure that my chicks weren't getting eaten alive... My hens get up much later while the chicks get up much earlier. I might give it a go since it seems like magic if it works... But if it goes horribly wrong and there is a bunch of pecking then I am going to separate the coop for them....
  5. mcmoody

    mcmoody In the Brooder

    May 28, 2013
    I'm in a similar predicament. I've got my two 4 month old babies living in the coop and the two 6 month old hens living in the run at night - separated but both totally secured. I like the idea of just "letting them work it out". But my one older chicken isn't just aggressive if the baby comes near her. She actively hunts them down, across the yard even, and chases them and corners them and gets on them and pecks the crap out of them and tears chunks of feathers out. She's a huge jerk.

    I don't know much about chicken flock dynamics yet - but this bully behavior seems odd to me. I get it if a Top Hen wants to command her space and patrol the newbies and put them in their place. But actively chasing them down when they are going well out of their way to avoid her and anything she touches? That seems like bad behavior. Is it normal?

    I've also been curious about the integrating at night thing. But my chickens have all been "sharing the same coop/run" for weeks.... and I open the doors in the morning and then the attacks begin in full force. I just don't see how that would work?

    We left them all loose together ONE NIGHT with the coop open to the run so there would be plenty of room to escape. And my favorite baby was bloodied up all over her face by 9am.

  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Your integration isn't totally cold, as they have seen the chicks a TON as you said while free ranging. I generally let them share space while free ranging and allow them access to each others coop. I always hope that they move into the bigger coop from the smaller tractor, just doesn't happen often and I have to move them into the coop at night. As they have know each other for a month or so it generally goes well. I have roosters and they tend to keep the hen on hen violence down. They do allow some pecking and feather grabbing, though if it goes on long enough he's is usually there to see whats what.

    To mcmoody: Its not an acceptable behavior. She is just taking the head hen thing to an extreme and bulling. Separate her while the rest are integrating. Best if it she can be out of sight and sound during the week or so.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Backyard Barn

    Backyard Barn In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    Southern California
    (Den in Penn) I like your idea of free range time. You never introduce 2 dogs in the one's backyard. Neutral territory! Is it okay to use a spray bottle and squirt a hen with water if she is being over-bossy?
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Others have used a squirt of water and it seems to work for them. They certainly won't be hurt by a little water.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: