Introducing new girls to the flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Marcy, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga
    Hey all, I hope this is the right forum for asking this- if not, I would appreciate being directed to the correct one [​IMG]

    I live in Atlanta and have a small backyard chicken flock. Recently we had a predator attack, and lost 2 of my 5 hens. I went a little nuts and built a much larger coop with a predator-proof run, and bought 5 more hens. I have added chickens to a flock once in the past, and everything went well, but this time I'm having problems. I thought that adding 5 new chickens to a flock of only 3 would sort of keep the balance of power, especially since I put all the birds into the new coop together, at night, but my 3 older chickens are being very aggressive. They're not injuring the new chickens, except for a few pulled feathers, but they're monopolizing the run and the food and water- the new chickens are immediately retreating to the interior of the coop, and not coming out to the run. I tried putting food inside, but it's not really working- they're sitting on perches and not eating, I guess because it's dark in there. Anyway, I finally figured out how to rig up some netting that will divide the run in two, but my favorite of the new birds has just died, I suspect from starvation. I pushed all the birds out of the coop into the run, and when they realized the old birds couldn't get at them anymore they stayed out, and ate and drank, but the netting is a temporary fix at best. If I leave it up, I have to go out every morning and separate them and reattach the netting, then at night unattach it and put the more aggressive hens to bed. Does anybody have any advice? I'm getting desperate.
     
  2. heyjami

    heyjami Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm sorry if this is a silly question but did you double up the feeders and waterers? So each group would have their own food access?
    And when you hold them you pick up the older girls first, right?

    How sad for that one! Good luck to you!

    PS: the rabbit waterers work well for us. Cheap and easy to attach a few around.
     
  3. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga
    yes, i put several feeders and waterers, and also scattered some treats around... the older chickens just bully the new ones right back into the coop every time they try to come out. the one that died didn't get pecked too much or anything, she just lay down in a corner inside and didn't get up. [​IMG] i wish i had figured out how to rig the netting sooner... but even so, if i have to leave it up for weeks it's going to be enormously difficult.
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Hi Marcy, Sorry to here about your new hen. I am having similar problems introducing new hens, but they are picking on the original coopmates. I'm going to be doing a similar pen rearrangement daily for a while. Keep us updated on how it goes!
     

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