Introducing a single chicken?? Please Help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by StarLover21, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum, so I hope I'm posting this in the right section.

    A long time ago, we got a few backyard chickens. Right now, several years later, we still have two of them, both Red Stars (who are best friends ) When we went on vacation a few months ago, a freind of a reletive had ordered the 'Rainbow Layers' from McMurray hatchery, and was trying to get rid of his White Leghorn chicks. We took seven of them home, and gave three to a friend, and we kept four. We kept them in a dog kennel in our backyard. A few weeks later, though, a raccon came and killed three of them . We kept the last one in a small dogpen (and brought her in at night) , but she soon grew out of it, and so we decided to put her in the sideyard with our other two hens, with a raccon-proof coop. She was about 15 wks. They began picking on her, and we thought they would stop, but now, several weeks later, they have still not warmed up to her. Its mostly in the mornings, before I come to let them out, and she has already gotten a few bleeding 'peck-wounds', on her neck and head. So we began locking her into the nesting box at night, so that our RS could see her but not get to her. They still pick on her though. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to intorduce a single chicken to two 'best freinds no intruders allowed' hens?
    We also have three, 5 wk old Black Stars, who we keep seperate. Do you think it will be a problem intorducing them, too?

    Sorry for the long post, but we also have another problem...

    We're keeping the hens in the side yard, which has a very tall chainlink fence facing our neighbors yard. There is no way the chickens could fly over it from the ground. However, our White Leghorn is EXTREMALLY flightly. She is terrified of everything. In the neighbors yard there is a pitbull dog who WILL kill anything that comes into its yard, and our WL has gotten into her yard by flying on top of the fence and into her yard. Luckily the pitbull wasn't in the yard, and we got her back. We clipped her wings even shorter, and put up something that will hopefully keep her out. Is there any way we can make her more calm? She's now about 16 wks.

    Also, on a completally off topic note, I had a really quick question about one of our Black Star chicks. She's just like the other two in appearance except she has a tiny bit of white flecking on her wings. Is this normal?

    Really sorry for the long post again. Some advice would be great!
    Thanks!
     
  2. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's a trick I just did with my over protective rooster.
    We recently introduced 3 new chicks to the flock... He decided to chase them a bit more than I liked. He was doing some pecking and pretty much just showing them who is boss. Well he chased them into a cage we had sitting out. The chicks ran out of the cage, he stayed in, I shut the door. He stayed in time out for about 20 minutes (not very long) but when I let him out, he didn't bother them again. So maybe an idea you can try is instead of putting the newbie into an introduction cage, put the girls in there instead. Show the new baby and possibly your black stars, too, that they can roam around and check everything out without being attacked. I would say to start by leaving the red stars in the cage for an hour. Then maybe a day if need be. By the time they come back out, the new guys will be more comfortable in standing up for themselves and there will be less fighting.
    Just a thought....
     
  3. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I might try that...[​IMG]
     
  4. EM Squared Farms

    EM Squared Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've heard stories from some of our customers about how their older layers will pick on and kill some of the younger chickens. We even held one customers' chickens she paid for in advance until they could grow up a little bigger. They haven't killed them this time but she says they find safe places in the pen away from the bullies.

    We do have a pen of just layers (one white leghorn, 2 golden comets, 2 wheaten old english game). I know 2 of the are more vicious (the wheaten old english game) and did peck out the back of the head of a poor Cornish x Rock that was getting old and couldn't run away. She would hide under the ramp to protect her head). We had the all the cockerels picking on the back of the head of one on the bottom of the pecking order too, he would hide his head through the fence so they couldn't get at him.

    What we usually end up doing is isolating the injured one until they can recover.

    I would highly recommend maybe letting them grow up a little bigger and older before putting them in with your 2 Red Stars. Especially the 5 week old Black Stars.

    When we raise chicks, we have a series of bins (2) and then a small cage inside. Then there are 2 larger cages out in the workshop and then when they are finally big enough, we move them out to the large, permanent outdoor pens.

    With your flighty white leghorn, is there any way you can add a roof to the coop ?

    Well, those are the only suggestions I have. Sometimes you just have to learn with experience. We had a sad experience with introducing some young Golden Sebright cockerels in with a Red Ginger Old English Game rooster. He killed one in the house (pulled on his comb too hard and broke his neck ?) and nearly killed the other. The next day the little pullet went looking for her dead mate and snuck through the fencing and that awful game rooster killed her too.

    So, lesson of the story, do not put passive, little chickens in with a larger, more aggressive game chicken. The bigger ones can kill the smaller ones. A small, passive breed like the golden sebrights need to be in their own pen with only their own breed.

    We have since divided all our pens into smaller pens so we have 9 individual pens. Not just 2 large chicken coops.
    My son is into breeding different breeds so this works for us.

    Good luck with your layers. I think the more time you can wait before putting them together, the better. Maybe introduce the 5 week old Black Stars in with the one getting picked on so they can all become friends. Then introduce all 3 into the pen with the 2 Red Stars at once.

    Keep us posted and let us know how things turn out (what works or doesn't work for you).
    Thanks !
     
  5. EM Squared Farms

    EM Squared Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Some of my customers do that too. Put a cage inside the pen with the new chickens so the old chickens can check them out and get used to them but they are protected.

    My son did that too to punish a bad rooster. He would put them into a pen with a more aggressive rooster. But that didn't always end up working. Sometimes the one he is punishing is the alpha rooster and would beat up the one supposedly who was going to teach him a lesson. Now he (my son) ends up pinning down the bad rooster to total submission. Now they never bother or attack him at all (we had problems with 2 roosters that he got that he did not raise - they would charge at him with their spurs).

    Let us know how things work out !
     
  6. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Some of my customers do that too. Put a cage inside the pen with the new chickens so the old chickens can check them out and get used to them but they are protected.

    My son did that too to punish a bad rooster. He would put them into a pen with a more aggressive rooster. But that didn't always end up working. Sometimes the one he is punishing is the alpha rooster and would beat up the one supposedly who was going to teach him a lesson. Now he (my son) ends up pinning down the bad rooster to total submission. Now they never bother or attack him at all (we had problems with 2 roosters that he got that he did not raise - they would charge at him with their spurs).

    Let us know how things work out !

    Yes definately keep us updated! If that trick doesn't work, we'll have plenty of new ones for ya [​IMG]
     
  7. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So do you think the white lehorn is too young to be with the Red Stars? I could put her in the dogpen with the little black stars, but I'm afraid she wouldn't have enough room..its a 16 square ft pen. We do have a roof on the coop- but we only use the coop at nightime, and so she would hop on top of the coop during the day and fly into the other yard. We're definitally waiting longer before putting the Black Star's with the RS. We don't really have anywhere to put the White Leghorn other than the sideyard or the pen. Thanks for the advice!
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Put the reject in the main pen and coop. Put the bullies in the quarantine cage/pen.
    After 4 or 5 days put the least aggressive bully in the main coop at night by placing on the roost.
    A week later put the main bully in the coop and all should be well.

    Bringing a smaller bird or minority numbers to established quarters is trouble.
    Introduce like sizes and numbers. Barring that, make the bullies the newbies and bring them to the strange surroundings.
     
  9. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Quote:x2 I swear I answered this post with basically the same suggestion, but I don't see my post on here...guess I did all that typing for nothing! Need more caffiene... [​IMG]
     
  10. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This is what I was trying to say LoL
    And no I don't think the leghorn is too young. There just aren't enough of her. But do what ChickenCanoe said and it should work out just fine.
     

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