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Is there anything I can do....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TattooQ27, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. TattooQ27

    TattooQ27 Songster

    to encourage my chickens to accept the newest member of their flock? We got an old hen about 3 months ago from my cousin and my other chickens hate her. She is the sweetest chicken ever and is incredibly submissive so they bully her. They won't allow her to eat, to roost with them, nothing. Sometimes they peck at her head and all she can do is run away, she was debeaked at the hatchery so she can't even fight back. We have 5 adult chickens and they free range our 2.5 acres. At night they roost in the rafters of our 30x20 barn so overcrowding shouldn't be the issue. I keep finding her wandering around looking for food and when I try to feed her away from the others they come running at her out of nowhere. I literally have to stand guard and fend them off to be able to have her eat.

    Is there anything I can for her to make her life a little easier or make the others be nicer?

  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Sure put out 6-7 feeders and 7-8 water dishes...

    that way even if each of the other hens guards one thye cant guard all of them.
  3. DamselinFlannel

    DamselinFlannel In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2012
    Coulterville, Illinois
    Poor thing. Have you thought about scattering the food? When I had two of my hens bullying another hen, I simply scattered food on the ground. The other two hens couldn't be everywhere at once, and the bullied hen got to eat. I ultimately solved my bullying problem by bringing a rooster into the flock, but I realize not everybody can do that.

    My mom had to give me a hen recently because her flock of seven were picking it literally to death. She was so sweet and docile. I have her in a pen with my rabbits after attempts to introduce her to my flock were unsuccessful, and she is having a wonderful time.
  4. I would do the same. May seem tedious, but the chances of her being able to eat and drink would be alot better. My Silkies get picked on alot by my other hens. I ended up putting another feeder out, at the other end of the run, and they have multiple waterers. This way, the Silkies can grab a bite to eat, before one of the bossier hens comes over and tells them to move. As for roosting, my silkies either sleep in the next boxes or on the floor of the coop, so no problem there. Sounds like roosting should work itself out in your case too, seeing how there is plenty of room. Good luck!
  5. TattooQ27

    TattooQ27 Songster

    I didn't think of that, thanks! I did try scattering the food but that didn't help. I tried a rooster too but he pecked a huge hole into her head so he had to go. I will set out more food bowls and see if that works.
  6. TattooQ27

    TattooQ27 Songster

    I did try scattering the food, I even tried scattering in several areas. It kind of seems like the other chickens watch her and then as soon as she moves to one area of food they chase her off and take over that spot. I am going to try putting more feeders out, maybe put them is and out of the barn so she can find one to sneak to. I didn't think about housing her with rabbits but if a bunny would keep her company I am not opposed to the idea, I have wanted a bunny for a while. I can tell she is lonely and that makes me sad so I will try anything at this point.
  7. I feel for you. When I adopted my roo, my girls HATED him. Didn't help that my girls are big fatties and he was only 6 months old and med sized. I have a 10'x40' run, and have it divided down the middle, in case I need to separate anyone. I kept him in one end, and the girls had the other, with access to the yard as well. They were able to see him on all but one side. This helped. They were a little more used to him this way. I kept him like that for about 4 weeks, which is a good quarantine time anyway. Housing her with a bunny could be good or bad. Bunnies do require a cleaner environment than chickens, I believe. My bunny is a house bunny, so not sure about outdoor environments for them. Seeing as how she is new, I would quarantine her anyway, just in case she has any underlining issues. Do you have any hens that are submissive? Not sure if this would work, but if you do, maybe when she is done with quarantine (if you choose to do so), you could house her with a few of the nicer hens, so she develops some rank, or at least friends [​IMG]).

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