Introducing a new chicken....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Renee22, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Renee22

    Renee22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, I traded my older amber link hen for one born in March of this year. The older one never laid hardly any eggs and we never knew she was that old b/c we were duped by a dishonest farmer. She's much happier where she is (in with 50-60 other amber links!) but the NEW amber link is considerably smaller than my two rhode island reds (and the older amber link) and they were picking and/or chasing her around the 18 sf coop pretty much all day yesterday, to the point where she "escaped" through a small opening I had for the water! How she got through w/out hurting herself is a mystery, but she can't any longer. They all seemed ok roosting together thru the night, BUT I have yet to see her come out of the roosting area today. Feeling sorry for her, I put some feed/water in the roosting box. She immediately went after the feed but wouldn't touch the water while I was watching. I just now, as I am typing this, saw her come out for some water outside and my two reds were on her immediately. She grabbed water and RAN back into the roosting box! What do I do? I thought since she was older than they were (they were born in May) that she wouldn't take any "crap" from them and obviously I'm wrong. Will they all settle down eventually? I don't want her hurt and they are pecking her hard enough to make her squawk! Help! [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Remove the 2 reds for a few days and then reintroduce the least aggressive to the coop. After another week reintroduce the other.
     
  3. Renee22

    Renee22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Southern Ohio
    I have absolutely no place to put them....literally. We are inside city limits and have built a moveable chicken tractor/coop and I just have no other option but for them to be in there. I was honestly thinking of moving her to the "outside" of the coop somehow so they had chicken wire between them, but can't think of any safe way I could do that either. I have a lab puppy who thinks it's great fun to just nose around the coop and they're all used to her, but putting one OUTSIDE the coop, or anywhere restrained outside the coop, is not a solution I can use. [​IMG]
     
  4. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Give them lots of food the next few days to "distract" them from the newbie. And things to peck at. I'd suggest getting some pumpkins, splitting them into 3 "piles" that are far enough away that each chicken can have one. They'll peck at those and not each other. In a couple days they'll get used to each other. If you can't find old pumpkins, try whole apples, a flock block split apart or even 3 pans or bowls of something you make (oatmeal, with food, with warm water and seeds).
     
  5. Chicken Boy 09

    Chicken Boy 09 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    put the new one in once it gets dark and when they wake up it will be like it was always there!!!![​IMG]
     
  6. Renee22

    Renee22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2011
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    The new one went in yesterday late morning. I probably should've found a place for her until dark, but that was my mistake. However, necessity being the mother of all invention, I have found a temporary solution! Two milk crates bungee corded to the OUTSIDE of the run in with the NON laying RIR hen. She has a tiny bowl of water and I sprinkled some food on the ground for her. She can still see her buddy, but that only leaves the laying hen in the run w/the new amber link. Ginger (the AL) did come out while I was doing this and promptly walked right through the water bowl hole b/c I was cleaning the coop and had it completely opened at that end! Duh! Luckily I caught her and got her right back in, lol! I'm going to leave Sophia outside for the rest of the day and Wilma (she lays almost every day) inside with Ginger, the amber link. Since Wilma lays almost every day, that will give Ginger time to get out and explore the yard on her own AND hopefully "make nice" with Sophia (in the milk crates strapped outside). Whew!
    Oh and I did try the piles of food. No one cared, lol! The minute that Ginger stepped down the "ladder" into the yard, they were on her, regardless of food. Maybe I need to feed them a little LESS today, lol! But since I just cleaned the entire thing top/bottom, there is nothing left on the ground for them to pick at so maybe they'll back off of poor Ginger today and I'll give them LOTS tomorrow to keep them busy. I do have 2 ears of corn for "busy work" but again, they believe in terrorizing poor Ginger! Grrrr! I'm always rooting for the underdog, it seems, lol!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    One should always have spare quarters planned. For rehabbing injured birds, quarantining new birds(which should be for about 3 weeks), etc.. If she gets pecked to the point of injury she'll need to be separated anyway to keep them from killing her.

    RIRs are usually very hard on new birds, especially other breeds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  8. Renee22

    Renee22 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Southern Ohio
    Well I can ALWAYS bring them into the basement, should something really happen. In an extreme case, I'd be ready somehow or another, but this isn't extreme. Never knew the Reds would be so hard on a new chicken! They didn't chase the old Ginger like this ( then THEY were the new kids so to speak, coming into HER flock)! I've never heard about quarantining a new bird. We've just got 3 hens. One gets sick, they all get sick. Hopefully they won't injure her!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put some obstacles in the coop to help out chickens that are getting picked on too much. These give the chickens something to hide behind, jump onto and run around while evading attacks from other chickens.

    ***Always be sure no blocked-off or dead-end areas are created where any chicken could get cornered.***

    Sacks of feed, buckets, additional perches, trash cans, etc. can be useful.

    Window frames (with either glass or wire in the middle) leaned against things can also be excellent for a flee-er to run behind and be protected yet be able to keep track of aggressor's travels. Window frames are even better if you can nail them so they are stand vertically and are at 90 degree angle to the wall. Then a fleeing chicken can also have the option to jump up and perch on the top edge to escape, and pursuer can't immediately chase her if she jumps down on the opposite side.

    Lower-ranking chickens also appreciate shadowy, cluttered areas where they can hang out and not be noticed as much.

    It helps to put food & water in some of these areas so less-dominant chickens still get plenty to eat and drink.

    Best wishes!
     
  10. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    p.s. You can also take a nail file & file down the tip of each of the dominant chickens' beaks a little. Then it's a little less painful & fearful for a lower-ranking chicken to get pecked.

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

    I think you've used GREAT RESOURCEFULNESS thinking of ways to put chickens in temp quarters where they can get used to each other some with a "protective barrier" in place, and ways to mix them in smaller groupings. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011

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