Introducing a new pullet to a flock without quarantine? Can it be successful?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Urbancowgirl, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Urbancowgirl

    Urbancowgirl New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jul 21, 2014
    We purchased 4 pullets from a breeder. One ended up being a roo so they swapped it with another pullet. The existing are about 8 weeks and the new one is around the same age. The breeder didn't mention quarantining first and just placed the new pullet in with the rest as if it was the norm. It was night so they settled down on the roost & fell asleep. However, the next day when we got home from work I noticed that one of the pullets was being aggressive to the new one. Constantly pecking at her head when she walked by & would chase her away from the food. One other pullet pecks at her this way too put only occasionally. When I go in the coop to check on the new one she jumps in my lap or on my shoulder.

    I don't know what to do. Should I leave them & see if they eventually start to get along? I tried to close her in the coop to keep her from the others but she kept trying to fly & hitting the walls so I don't think putting her in a dog crate would be good. She's very sweet & I'm concerned her disposition will change.

    Any suggestions? This is my first flock.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

    12,152
    6,578
    521
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    Well, quarantining is more to prevent disease than anything else, but if they all came from the same breeder you're probably fine. Just watch for signs of illness. You could try separating the new girl out in a way that allows the others to see her but not get to her, and this will give them time to get used to each other and posture, etc, and then when you do put her in with them with no barriers the fighting should be reduced. The other thing you can do is to pull the aggressor from the flock for a few days, then reintroduce her. The others will 'forget' her and she'll have to be reintegrated and will be knocked all the way to the bottom of the pecking order, which may reduce aggressiveness. Of course, this could just cause the same problems with her that you are experiencing with the new bird.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by