Lone Hen attacking youngsters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NY Chicky, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. NY Chicky

    NY Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lost all but one of my hens to a raccoon attack. I reinforced their yard and added Nite Guard lights (so far so good). I purchased three new birds - two are 8 weeks old, one is 12 weeks. My coop is small - raised with a fenced in area on the bottom so the younger birds can come out and eat, drink and scratch. The original hen is outside of the coop during the day but within the yard so she can see them and interact. Each night I put the hen into the coop and everyone sleeps together with no problems, but as soon as I let them out in the morning, the original hen chases the youngsters and pecks at them (her beak is trimmed, so other than getting knocked in the head, the youngsters are okay). I keep separating them during the day. My question is: Will they ever get along? I'd like them to share the yard (the original group got on perfectly so I didn't think this hen would cause any problems)
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    That is very normal chicken behavior. Isn't it barbaric? Is she alot bigger than the chicks? (I'm guessing yes..)
     
  3. NY Chicky

    NY Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes - She's a year old and the others are much smaller - I had thought since there was three little ones and just her she'd have a little hissy fit and then all would be well - I'm sure they will eventually get along but I don't know how long it will take.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Your older bird has been through a lot - the trauma of an attack that caused the disappearance of her flock and now interlopers being foisted upon her in "her" territory - her reaction is pretty normal. This is one of the reasons it is generally advisable to wait for integration until the youngest birds are 16+ weeks of age and better able to "hold their own" against fully mature birds. With time they will get to know one another and likely form a more cohesive flock like you had before.
     
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  5. stephdbarb

    stephdbarb Out Of The Brooder

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    I just logged on because I'm having similar issues and was going to ask! Not trying to hijack your post but rather add:
    We lost 3 of 10 to an attack. Hubby replaced with three more chicks. We've kept the chicks in a small coop and run within the big run. Now the chicks are appx 12 wks and nearing the size of the big hens. We would like them together soon because school/work is starting in a few weeks. We want to be home to babysit during the first week to make sure all is well. Any ideas on how to introduce them? They're definitely familliar but my two Rhode Island reds were showing a bit of aggression where the barred rock and Orpingtons seemed fine from the get go.
     
  6. NY Chicky

    NY Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I was thinking that is probably the case, but hopeful there was an easier answer. I'll probably just keep plugging away at it and I'm sure they will all get along soon - I purposely chose breeds that were known for being easy going :) (Silver Laced Wyandotte, White Barred Rock and a Brahma)
     
  7. bentleyminpin

    bentleyminpin New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi I am new to raising chickens,I have 1 cockerel and 1 pullet both Marans they are 31/2 months old, I had 2 other Cockerel 's but found good homes did not think my pullet would make it with three, all raised as chicks I got for free I just got a cochin Bantam which is about the same age, but half the size I am not having sucess intergrating them the Cockerel has tried to strike at the bantam, and the pullet has tied and succeed pecking at her through the crate in the run. The bantam is in a large dog traveling crate in the coop, I am at my wits end any suggestions please!!!. thanks Hope this is a okay to post here, original post was on a role playing thread....
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If they're not pinning the bantam down and drawing blood, you're just going to have to let them work it out. That's how they establish their pecking order. As another BYCer has said, "Chicken society isn't pretty". Every time you add a bird to the flock, they need to reestablish their pecking order. Chickens don't like change and they don't like newcomers. Make sure your bantam has plenty of hiding places - something to duck behind if needed - and if you can put in a separate feeder and waterer, it would be good. They only way they're going to work it out is to put them together. You might want to keep an eye on things for a bit to make sure they are just pecking at her (if he's of age, your rooster may also try to breed her) and not getting extremely violent (as I mentioned above).
     
  9. NY Chicky

    NY Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2013
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    I've been separating the 3 younger ones at night - I came home from work 2 days ago and, to my horror, the Wyandotte was laying on her side outside the enclosed area under the coop! I was so upset! I went to pick her up (I though to dispose of her) but she opened her eye! So I took her inside and wrapped her up. She had a red mark on her head so I'm pretty sure the original hen pecked her and knocked her out. I also brought in the other young ones and everyone was fine in the morning. I'm thinking I'll have to keep them separated at least for the next month or two... at least until they can hold their own.
    No roosters are in the flock, so it's not that :) Just a bossy older chicken
     

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