introduced new hens this weekend, hens not happy!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maryzee, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. maryzee

    maryzee Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Hi guys I wonder if anyone can give me some advice...
    I have one isa brown and one black Hamburg hens that are 20wks old, we have had them one month. 2 days ago we got 2 more isa browns. We introduced them at night, all seemed to go ok, the next morning I let them out, and one of the new ones and the Hamburg had a huge flap and peck, I had to leave for work but gave them lots if distractions (weeds, corn, cabbage tied up high for them to jump up to, etc etc). When I came home from work they seemed fine and they had all taken themselves to bed in the coop. This morning I let them out but it seems these new hens have it in for the Hamburg, they keep pecking it and chasing for no reason, and now the Hamburg is walking around making a really weird howling sound, there is no blood or anything and the other hen seems completely fine. Should I just let them sort it out or is there anything I can do? The Hamburg gets pounced on whatever she does! I am worried about them getting stressed. Anyone got any tips? I am new to hen owning so please forgive me! Thank you
     
  2. Bethany86

    Bethany86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    I am new to chicken keeping too but from what I have read it is best to keep new chickens separate but within view of your existing birds for a while until they get used to each other.
     
  3. country chick1

    country chick1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    idealy when you get new additions, you keep them apart for a few weeks, to make sure they are healthy, then once certain all is good, put them in a cage inside the existing run so that the old girls get to know the new ones, do this for a few days to a week, put feed/water dishes near the cage, on either side, so they eat/drink together, add to the coop at night,,,,,all this makes the introduction smoother

    but since you have already popped them in, you might be able to take them out, as it has only been a few days, and do the above with a introduction cage, but you decide to leave them, you could try using 2 feed and 2 water bowls, so they are all getting plenty of food, have them apart and slowly move them closer over a few days.....i would stand watch at the time of day you are noticing them harrass her and when the isa browns go to attack the Hamburg, spray them with a sharp spray from a water bottle, this has worked for me on occasion, it is like they are getting a peck on the head, they dont't take long to settle after doing that

    Isa browns can be very nasty to other hens, some are down right cruel. i had to re-home 2 because of this

    good luck
     
  4. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
    When you get new birds you need to isolate them from your other birds for at a minimum 30 days to be sure they are not sick in any way. Otherwise they could make your healthy birds sick and you could lose them all. Also be sure to check for things such as lice. I'm too paranoid to add new adult birds to my flock. One way to make the introduction go a little smoother is to put the new birds where they can interact with the original birds (such as in a wire cage) before releasing them - that's after the 30 day isolation. You can also give the birds places to hide in case they are being picked on.

    Be sure they have PLENTY of room. Coop example: for four birds that would be 4 feet X 4 feet=16 square feet, 16 square feet / 4 square feet per bird (recommended) =4 bird capacity. Run example: for four birds would be 8 feet X 5 feet = 40 square feet, 40 square feet / 10 square feet per bird (recommended) = 4 bird capacity. 4 square feet per bird for the coop and 10 square feet per bird for the run.

    Good luck to you. Enjoy your chickens! :)
     
  5. maryzee

    maryzee Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Thanks for all your tips, I got home today and sure they were still on at the Hamburg but I checked when it got dark and they were all snuggled up in the nest box together! So I am guessing things can't be that bad?! My hen guy never told me about separating them first, although these new hens are same age and actually from the same batch as my other isa brown, don't know if that makes a difference?
     
  6. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
    Sometimes if you take the chief bully out for a couple days then put them back in the pecking order will change. That might help.
     

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