Integration Troubles

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by caitderek, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. caitderek

    caitderek New Egg

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    Jul 6, 2010
    We have....in our main flock

    A one year old Barred Rock which is the lead chicken.
    A one year old RIR
    A 5 mnth Amber Sex Link
    A 5 mnth Australorp
    A 5 mnth Black Sex Link
    and a 5 mnth White Leghorn

    and the new birds are around 3 mnths and are a Polish Hen and a Lavender Ameracauna.

    We have the our flock set up in and 8x8 coop with an 8x8 run.

    My boyfriend and I started out by raising a RIR and a Barred Rock in our home. Once they were close to a year we put them outside in a coop. That same day we went and bought four chicks and two ducks. We waited until the chicks were about 4 months to integrate them and we did it at night. The mixing went fairly well and there was only a tiny bit of normal pecking. The ducks did the best but since they were both male we decided to let them go into a pond nearby. We then bought two more chickens to mix with the group since we had taken two away. We got a Ameracauna and a Polish Hen.

    We kept these two chickens separated in a cage next to the six big chickens for about a week. Our old flock showed some interest in the the new chickens but when we put them together it was nothing but fights. Even our calmest and nicest chicken was fighting the new chickens. Our lead hen shows very little interest in the new chickens but everyone else will not leave them alone. When we put them together we cannot go a minute without a brutal fight. We are going to trim the Polish Hen's feathers
    so that she can see because as of now she just hides in the corner hoping to not be noticed. We have them separated once again until we can figure out how to mix them without the fighting.


    The old birds will grab the new birds by their neck and try and kick them. This doesn't sound like normal pecking order fights. Could it be that our old birds just absolutely hate our new birds? Or could it be because we have six against two? Is their anything we can do to make this better for the new chickens?
     
  2. friskebluegills

    friskebluegills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2010
    You might have to keep them seperated. For some reason I don't think other chickens really like the Polish. We got a pair of silver laced polish a few year back and tried to put them with our buff orpingtons and they just beat them up. They had to stay seperated. Hope that isn't the case for you and someone on here will know what to do.
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
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    I have three polish and a marans that I am trying to get to accept a tiny little bantam hen. They would jump on her and try to stomp her. This was after I got rid of three black sex link hens that were beating up on the polish. It has been a good two weeks and I kept the bantam hen in a rabbit hutch inside with them. Today is the first day she has been able to put her feet on the sand without being physically jumped on. She even managed to eat in their pan. I keep food and water up high so she can eat and drink. Crazy thing is they will let her roost at night with them but would start in on her in the morning. A ray of hope! I think perserverance is the key.
    sharon
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    More space in the run might help. Your run is actually only big enough by the conventional rule of thumb for 6 chickens (10 square feet per bird). Your coop is large enough, but chickens probably don't spend very much time inside, especially in the summer. More space, and places for the bullied chickens to hide behind: something as simple as some cardboard boxes placed in the run.

    This won't help you, but I got a good piece of advice before getting chickens from a very experienced poultry keeping friend. He advised me against picking "singletons" to build my flock: single birds of a particular breed. The old adage about birds of a feather flocking together? I think a mixed flock of singletons is more likely to have social problems than a flock composed of the same breed or even those that look alike. Even in my flock of very similar looking bantams, I notice my half d'Uccle hen favors the other d"Uccle teenage chickens that look like her, even over the teenager chickens that are actually her own offspring, but look more like Old English Game bantams. And the Old English Game bantams are always hanging out together.
     
  5. caitderek

    caitderek New Egg

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Thank you all this has been very helpful. Even though there run is only 8x8 they also have more yard to run around in that is just fenced in for them. We only keep them in then run on crappy day so that can hurry up and get into the coop. Hopefully we can work something out and convince them to get along. I'd also love to try the small boxes, we had thought of that but I'm afraid the polish won't hide in there. I will try though!
     

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