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Introducing Bantams to Standard Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pele, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    I have recently been pulling out my hair over trying to introduce two bantam cochin pullets to my flock of standard birds. I have had the 10 week old cochins in a cage inside the hens' coop for about two weeks now, and there seems to be no improvement whatsoever.

    The big girls seem determined to peck at the little ones, no matter how many nights I put them in together on the roost, or no matter how many days the babys spend in the cage in the coop. And it's not a dominance pecking, it's pecking for blood.

    This behavior spreads even when they're free-ranging. The babies stick close to the house and to myself (I only let them mingle when supervised). The bigger girls will be all the way across the lawn, then it seems that they randomly decide to murder the babies, and come over to chase them and peck them. The cochins are in no way challenging their dominance, or the pecking order. They do nothing to defend themselves.

    I'm starting to be at my wits end, there is no one instigator. The entire flock is in on it. What am I missing? It has to be possible to intergrate them. Please help.
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I think your cochins are much too young to be put with your big hens.


    I would wait, let them see each other, but not put them in the coop on the roost until the cochins are closer to 6 months of age.



    If they were mine, what I would do is this: Watch the large flock and figure out who is lowest on the pecking order. When the cochins are closer to 4 months/5 months of age, put the low pecking order bird in with the cochins. Let them become buddies and a trio. Then maybe pull another lower flock member from the group and add to the cochins' group.


    Then I would slowly start free ranging them together while I watched. If that seems to be going well, then try to place them in the coop.
     
  3. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    Thank you so much for replying!

    I suspected that they might be too young, I guess I am rushing things too much. I do not have a lot of space for keeping seperate groups of chickens, and I felt so badly about keeping the babies in their large guinea pig cage.

    I'll just have to suck it up and let them sit in the coop inside their cage. The good news is that I do not find them distressed or injured in the mornings after spending the night on the roost with the girls. It's only when they get outside the coop that the babies become irresistable somehow.

    I think it has to do with the fact that the bantams panic and run in open space, and that triggers chasing and attack. *sigh* Chickens are worse drama queens than a pack of highschool rich girls in a mall.
     

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