Introducing "Piont of Lay" hens to 10 week old flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oliverj102, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. oliverj102

    oliverj102 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there,

    Ive finally finished making a run and have my chickens situated in it, I moved 8 White Sussex chickens into it 3 weeks ago and today I bought the final 6 birds for my flock, 6 Loman (Brown hens). The problem is, the brown hens are picking hell out of the younger birds!

    Im fairly sure it just them assessing who is top chicken and getting their pecking order, but im worried for my little chicks!

    Their run is a modified poly tunnel 2m high, 3m wide and 6m long covered in a windbreak netting to keep birds of prey away as they are abundant at my home. Their coop is a 2mx2m wooden clad house standing 1.6m tall with 4 nesting boxes and 2 roosting perches inside filed with wood shavings for bedding. All of which was custom built as the price of buying a run and coop was just silly!

    Ive placed fruit netting inside the run over half the area so the chicks can go under and sleep without fear of the adults getting them but im concerned ill go out this evening to lock them up and find the adults in the house and the chicks huddled outside!

    What should I be looking to expect in the near future in terms of interaction? I cant separate them ad there is only 1 house, but i dont want my chicks hurt.

    Currently they are in 2 flocks but when an adult goes close she takes a peck at any chick in range and shoes them off, the chicks run a few feet then resume foraging. Is this a good sign?

    Thanks
     
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pecking order it seems of.The chicks will not fight back just yet.But your adults are not making killer moves.Slight pecks or kicks in the behind is showing dominance.And the adults are clarifying that its their territory.If you notice serious fighting more then likely their fighting for pecking order or dis likeness or even maybe two dominant hens are just wanting to be boss.I've had this before.But mines eventually got the disease that the others had and was still fighting,and it stressed 1 hen out killing her.Do you know your lead hen?Lead hens are your may watch out,with no rooster she takes over which means she can simply kick your pullets out from the flock,making it to where they will run off or even not go up in the pen at night or just sleep in trees.Lead hens may even "kill"the pullets if given the chance.But watch out,and about a few weeks they'll be come more of a flock the just aquantences.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  3. oliverj102

    oliverj102 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are 7 hens and a rooster in my young flock, the rooster is still not asserting himself as he is only 12 weeks old tho. There isn't a dominant hen in the flock, they all seem to free for all, the 6 adults seem to cluster Also as I think they previously had a rooster ruling them.
     
  4. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay.Big bad thing.If your older hens originaly had a rooster they'd want him,which causes them killing the young rooster.Are you positive there isn't a lead hen?Be extra sure of it.
     
  5. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And likely any dominant hens taking the challenge to lead hen will be more then happy to get rid of the young cock,so watch out.
     
  6. oliverj102

    oliverj102 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The adults dont seem to be activly going for the chicks, just shoeing them off when they are in the way. Im not sure what I can do to seperate them. I only have one coop and the weather here is going down to 4-5 degrees at hight so they cant stay out really... any suggestions to smooth over peace talks between them?
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If they're sorting out the pecking order, there's really not much you can do about it. Make hiding places for the young ones, put out extra feed and watering stations. Give them more space, if possible. As long as there is no blood drawn, and the older ones are not actively going after the young ones, I wouldn't interfere. If you separate them, you'll end up going through the same thing again once you put them back together. Every time you add to or subtract from the flock, this is going to happen.
     
  8. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd say treats,lots of em' too!It probably/should keep them busy.Which means less fighting.Your best it to free range for a whole day.It will be harder on them to picked on.You see just slight pecking,soon thou it will turn into taring combs,pecking eyes out,face kicking etc.It gets very dangerous.I remember introducing a flock to mines.Curlysew my old hen would jump on my buffs head.She was a true lead hen before being put in with flock,but this fight was intened on food.The lead hen took action,she was protecting her flocks food.This all was in winter and fight went down in the coop.1 day my newhamps got into it.My big 1 versus smaller newhamp.The big 1 was new the small 1 I had already.They faught rapidly.Slamming their chest against roost,taring combs,rapidly kicking eachother.It's horrible.
     
  9. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually there is no need for any hiding place.Because pecking order is just a small fight.It's a bit different with young ones.All they do is either slight peck them allowing running off or kick them,which is nothing real.The young ones won't start large battles,unless needed.I could see if a hen was dominantly grabbing the comb and taring.That's a problem.It will cause them to fight back,which you sort want,but then again,they may kil the youngsters.
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I have never, ever seen any of that when introducing new birds. Nor have I seen it in my established flocks. It could be because they were confined and cranky already, or they felt crowded. If there is plenty of room and there are hiding places for the chicks, this should not happen.
     

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