Intergrating chickens not working :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kimyey, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. kimyey

    kimyey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2016
    Hi everyone, first off thank you for taking The time to read this and ofer your advice. It's been a month now of no luck in intergrating our 3 new hens. The 3 hens are 14 weeks old and our existing flock is about 21 weeks old. We started by sectioning the new girls off for 2 weeks, we then took down the fencing and since then nothing has changed they continuously get pecked on to the point where they stay in the coop all day :( I've set up many distractions and even tried free ranging they still got chased when they got close... Is this normal after a month? What would you suggest next? I also tried to crate the aggressors for a couple of days. although there isn't any blood yet I just am getting frustrated I don't know what else to do... I hear people say it will just click and they will one day get it but it doesn't seem this way the younger girls are just terrified :((((

    Any input with your own experiences would be appreciated.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    The two groups will always be separate, as those raised together tend to stay together. Don't expect them to hang out together. They are all young, as they become sexually mature they will start acting more like a cohesive flock, but it may take until they are fully mature at around a year.

    Pecking at the younger ones is normal, give them room and try to ignore it unless it does become bloody. They are like mixed ages on the school playground, sometimes things get rough. As long as everyone can get away they will be okay.
     
  3. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oldhenlikesdogs is right. Chickens like to form cliques and hang out within their own age group. It can be sad as chicken owners because we want our flock to be one big happy family. But it just doesn't work that way. They have a pecking order and their own bonds to particular chickens. It's completely normal. And as long as know one is getting hurt you don't have to worry about it. They will get a little better with age and eventually be tolerated by the older hens.
     
  4. kimyey

    kimyey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2016
    I appreciate your input and it makes total sense! It's just sad they can't even walk around without getting chased away ... They run back in to the coop to get away.. I guess my frustration is that it's been a month long I feel there isn't any improvement. We still have 2 younger batches to intergrate as well. I was thinking of combining the 3 newer girls with one of the batches we have to intergrate then putting them outside together this way there would be 6 of them these guys are a month apart. They have a good amount of space

    [​IMG]

    The two groups will always be separate, as those raised together tend to stay together. Don't expect them to hang out together. They are all young, as they become sexually mature they will start acting more like a cohesive flock, but it may take until they are fully mature at around a year.
     
  5. kimyey

    kimyey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2016
    Thank you so very much I guess for now I have to suck it up it makes sense with the age just hard to see because they get hurt and ganged up on, no blood but that's also because they have the coop to run in to and get away

     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    What is stated above is correct. Although you can override the normal social order by a couple of methods. One is to contain all the birds in close confinement under very low light conditions. This will promote imprinting based on voice. Another approach is to disrupt the pecking order of the elder cohort. Separate the two groups then transfer only the most dominant bird from the elder cohort in with the younger cohort. The older bird will be a little rough on younger birds all that will subside relatively quickly. After three days introduce another of the elder birds in with the younger and the dominant. If all goes well the dominant will get into a brief scrap with the new transfer resulting in the new being submissive to all. Then repeat with others allowing dominant to rest. Result will be a situation where older birds do not work together against the smaller birds.
     

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