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Intergration issues

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by richard972, May 22, 2017.

  1. richard972

    richard972 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm having issues intergrating my 13 week pullets (4 of them) into my flock (3 hens). I have been doing the look but no touch method for 3 weeks with supervised meets which had the normal pecking order stuff. Now the pullets are free ranging but still living in a temp coop. The older hens ignore them for the most part. But randomly theu will chase them out of an area like the run or a corner of the yard. They arnt hurting the pullets other then a sharp peck they are just being bullies. I want to move the pullets into the big coop but cant until the bulling stops. Any ideas how to stop the bullies? which is the all three older hens.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    IMO, as long as the aggression is neither prolonged, nor results in injury, I'd let things be. It's perfectly normal for adult chickens to keep juveniles in their place. Soon enough the young ones will learn that boundaries exist (and they differ with each individual) and you'll see less of the antics you describe. Having multiple feeders helps cut down food based aggression, but to be honest, what you are describing is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
     
  3. richard972

    richard972 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well thats good to hear. I will be trying to move the pullets into the coop this weekend. Hopefully no attacks happen.
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Just remember that attacks and dominance pecks are not the same thing. I'm not sure about your flock, but roosting time is squabbling time, so don't be too alarmed - the young ones will learn their place soon enough.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Until the young ones mature enough to force their way into the pecking order, they will probably be afraid of the adults for a good reason, the adults will usually peck them if they invade personal space. That's just the way chicken society operates. Mine usually reach that maturity point sometimes around when they start to lay. The exact timing varies a bit but usually a few days before they start to lay but more often a week or so after.

    Until they reach that maturity point, the young ones learn to avoid the adults or run away if attacked. How big is your "big" coop? How much room will they have to avoid or get away? It's not a matter of square feet, it's more with the layout. My nests are pretty low to the floor so the young ones often hide under there. If the adults are on the coop floor, the juveniles are often on the roosts. I do what you are talking about doing all the time. The first few mornings I'm down there pretty early to make sure things are going OK. It always is. I'm usually comfortable after a couple of days that they will be OK. I don't know what your coop looks like and as CT said, personality of individuals can make a difference too.

    How long have they been free ranging together? Saturday is still a few days away, that's probably long enough. The young ones need enough time to learn to avoid the adults. I'm not that consistent with much of anything, but I often have mine ranging together at or before 8 weeks and at 12 weeks I often move the pullets into the main coop.

    As CT said, roost time is often squabbling time. The ones at the top of the pecking order get to sleep wherever they want and can be pretty brutal enforcing that right. I don't know how much roost space you have or how it is arranged, but it's really normal for mine to not start using the main roosts until they reach that maturity point where they can force their way into the pecking order. They look for safer places to sleep which just might be your nests. I integrate several times a year, this became such a problem that I put a juvenile roost higher than the nests, lower than the main roosts, and horizontally separated from the main roosts to give them a safe place to go that is not my nests. If yours start sleeping the nests this may be worth remembering.

    Occasionally you get a hen that is a true brute, one that goes out of her way to attack any younger chicken. From what you describe I don't think you have one of those. I wish you luck.
     
  6. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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