Introduction a hen to a very aggressive cream legbar

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ranpan, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Ranpan

    Ranpan New Egg

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    Mar 31, 2017
    Birmingham
    Hi 8 weeks ago I bought 2 more hens to add to my current 3. I segregated an area off for the new girls within the run so that they could see them but not be hurt, we did this for 3 weeks before trying to introduce, we let them mingle in the garden in that 3 weeks also. Then we put them all together in the run and there was the expected pecking to show the pecking order but my one girl Nancy (crested cream legbar) will not leave Betty (splash Orpington) alone, she'd chase her and peck but she doesn't stop like the others when they realise that Betty's being submissive, she attacked her to the point of blood shed. We stepped in and separated again but this time the older 3 were in the segregated area and we put 1 of the 3 originals each week starting with the most placid with the new girls. Matilda (light sussex) was first went perfectly which was surprising considering she's the top of the pecking order. Next was Evie (Bluebell) she was a bit more aggressive but settled fine. Today was Nancy's turn who is bottom of the pecking order of the 3 orginals and straight away attacking her really aggressivly. We're sure that Betty might have something genetically wrong with her, she's had a limp since we've had her and her posture seems a little different to the others but other than that she's perfectly well with eating and drinking even given her vitamin drops she's just very timid. We've put a mirror in the coop and hanging cds for distractions, we've put hanging greens and new activities but nothing seems to work. I just feel so sorry for Betty I hate seeing her get bullied. Sorry for the long post just really need some advice. Thanks in advance x
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    How big is your coop and run? Could be the territory is too small to support more birds. When introducing adult to adults it becomes a territory issue and has nothing to do with pecking order, it has to do with the original birds defending their territory against intruders. In small set ups it can take months and can be near impossible to integrate more hens. Size by side penning for a long time may work.
     
  3. Ranpan

    Ranpan New Egg

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    Mar 31, 2017
    Birmingham
    Hi thank you for your reply, quite large definitely large enough for 5 hens. We've introduce new hens in that environment before too with no problem, it's just the cream legbar won't quit she goes ott
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Knowing the size of the space in feet by feet can really help for offering solutions, pics are an additional help.

    It's often the lowest ranked of the existing flock that is the most aggressive with new birds.
    I would segregate the aggressive bird, either to the fenced off area for a few weeks or permanently.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  5. Ranpan

    Ranpan New Egg

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    Mar 31, 2017
    Birmingham
    Thanks for your reply. 8ft squared at a guess but it's taller than us and has different levels. I suspected as much with her being the lowest ranked bird but she has accepted Murial (rhode island red) our other new one that came with Betty. I'm thinking maybe because Betty is weaker and placid she's targeting her? I've segregated Nancy within the coop so she can still see them. I really hope it's not permanent :/
     

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