Managing two different breeds !

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HSA87, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. HSA87

    HSA87 Hatching

    Jan 18, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    Needed some urgent advice,
    Basically I hve had a lone cockerel for about a year and recently got two egg laying hens about 3 weeks ago. Introduced them straight away and they have formed a very united group until I got two new polish breed hens which are quite small in size as compared to the other three.

    Its been nearly a week now and the new ones are not showing any signs of getting along with the others including the rooster. The hens have been attacking the new ones which is understandable because of the pecking order. However, the rooster chases them all the time and attacks them violently most of the time. One thing I have noticed is the new ones dont like the rooster near them and run away whenever he approaches.
    I am not able to understand why they run away from him and as a result they are terrified and although free range in the yard; they hide all day long and hardly eat n drink which is a concern. One of them had been a regular egg layer at the previous place and has only laid once in a week.

    I wanted some advice on the fact that I was planning to get the rooster the new ones had been with at the previous place? will this help? will they still recognise him because its only been a week they've been away?

    I dont want to give them new ones back as they are v cute.
    Pls help

  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    How did you go about the initial introductions? From the way your post reads it seems that there was no quarantine done and that the birds were pretty much just put together from the time of arrival of the new birds in the same area.
    Adding another bird (the other rooster) to this situation is not going to help. In fact, especially as the bird is a rooster, you will only be increasing the issues you are having now.
    I'm not sure why you don't understand that the birds are running away from a bird who has demonstrated a desire to chase and attack them?
    It sounds like the best approach for harmony in your flock is going to be to house and maintain them separately - with each rooster having his own hens and the two groups being kept separate from each other - even then, though, you may need to increase your birds as two hens per rooster is a recipe for overbreeding issues.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If you want to breed pure breeds, you're going to need separate coops/runs anyway.

    Read up on integration.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My first thought is...were the new hens with a male before? Is he trying to assert his dominance and mate with them and they're having none of it?

    My understanding is Polish often do not do well in a mixed flock. They look very different, and if their headdress impairs their vision, they can't see behavioral cues from the other birds. You might just need to house your Polish separate.
  5. HSA87

    HSA87 Hatching

    Jan 18, 2015
    thanks for your info... yeh when they came in abt two weeks ago.. he tried mating but.. they had none of it.. and then he turned really aggressive.. to the point tht.. he cant even stand to see them eat.. so I hve decided to give them bak to wr they came frm.. :( ...although I hve a big yard .. bt dont fancy keepin two separat flocks.. n plus I need egg layers... n I hve heard polish r not v getting two new ones of the same breed..
  6. HSA87

    HSA87 Hatching

    Jan 18, 2015
    and yes they were with a rooster before.. bt i dunno wot breed he is..
  7. HSA87

    HSA87 Hatching

    Jan 18, 2015
    introduced them at night.. n since I hve a massive yard.. they kept out of each others way.. anyway.. so I dint hve to cage them.. in the day.. they never mixed until now.. n i hve decided to give them bak.. and get two new ones of the same breed i already had...
    Thanks for advice anyway !

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: