It's been 6 months and new hen is still not being accepted in flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jupiter Skies, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Jupiter Skies

    Jupiter Skies New Egg

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    We have 2 Barred Rocks and enjoyed them enough to want to get 2 more hens, so we got 2 Buff Orpington chicks. One turned out to be a rooster and since roosters are not allowed in our city, we had to give him back. So now we just have the 2 Barred Rocks and the one Buff Orpington. They sleep in the coop together at night and all is fine, but in the morning when they wake up, the Barred Rocks pick on the Buff until she is bloody. So I am having to wake up at the first sound of her squawking, so that I can run out and let her out of the coop. (All 3 free range all day.) This has been happening since we introduced them. When they are all out in the yard during the day, they chase her if she gets close and pull her feathers (and sometimes skin) out. During the day I don't worry about her as much because she can run away from them and has learned where to hang out on her own. But I would love any suggestions on what I can do to make life easier for her. Thanks!!
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get another hen or 2. She's different and not part of the in group so they will continue to pick at her. There's safety in numbers.
     
  3. Jupiter Skies

    Jupiter Skies New Egg

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    Thanks for the helpful advice. I don't know where I can purchase another hen her age. So do you think even if I got a baby chick and introduced it into the flock when it is big enough that that would help?
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One chicken introductions are always the hardest. You can also try and split up the Barred Rocks. Take most aggressive one out for a week or so and let the other bond with the Orpington. To work best the separation should be out of sight and sound. It may or may not work with a small flock like yours, but its worth a try. Getting a chick would take at least 12 weeks for the chick to be old enough to put in with them. And another eight weeks or so till she reach maturity to really be accepted. It might work by giving the BPRs another target, but she at first, would also be a target for the Orpington.
     
  5. SNJchickens

    SNJchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a similar problem. I was given an 8 week old RIR pullet. I have 5 hens (4 are 3 years old and 1 is 2 years old.) At first the alpha hen took off after the "chicklet" quite aggressively which had me rushing out to rescue the baby. Now, however, the lowest hen in the peck order has been attacking viciously even when the hens are all free ranging.

    For now I set up a separate coop (my DH had built a broody coop that breaks down into a "flat pack" and goes together in about 10 minutes with screws) and I fenced off 1/3 of my large run. The hens can see but not peck little Emma Jean.

    The chicklet (I love calling my babies that term of endearment) is now 9 1/2 weeks old. No improvement in flock dynamics.

    I'm reading all the advice posted in this thread hoping to find a solution that will work for my flock. A friend tells me that sometimes a chicken will never be accepted. ACK!
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't even try adding a single hen to such an established flock. I have added 2 once and it worked fine but my flock has everything from 3 months to 2 years plus guineas. With 2 and 3 year old hens, I would be thinking about adding the next generation of layers because yours should be dropping off significantly. I would pick up 3 more pullets, grow them up to full size and then add them.
     
  7. SNJchickens

    SNJchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ah, I wish! Unfortunately I failed to mention that I live on less than 1/4 acre in a development where chickens are illegal. My neighbors LOVE my hens and the eggs, but truly, 6 is "one chicken too far" here. I'd have a dozen if I could (and if I had a larger coop)!

    I really would like to keep this little RIR. She is very friendly and she looks to me for protection when she's being chased. She sits on my lap and flies up onto DH's shoulder.

    Of course, I need to think of what is best for her. For now I'll keep her safely separate and hope for new flock dynamics when she's grown a bit more.
     
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know we all get attached to our hens but are the 3 year olds earning their keep or is it time?
     
  9. SNJchickens

    SNJchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    The 3 year olds are laying 5-6 days per week! Because I only have 5 hens, I know which eggs are laid by which hen.

    The 3 year old Cochin does go broody every spring but I don't really mind that. I gave her chicks one year. Of the two chicks, one was a rooster and went back to the farm. The other is the 2 year old hen.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you have your answer.
     

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