May've intro'ed youngins wrong, now shunned

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amiachicknorwat, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, When we got our 4 new pullets it was evening. Our flock of 13 with 2 roosters remaining were already shut up in the coop. So I put the newbies in the small mobile coop, thinking it was just for this one night and we'd work on integrating the next day. Ever since at the end of the day the newbies go back into the mobile and the whole flock plays an ugly apartheid game. The newbies are younger than the pullets we got back in June. They're clearly well below lowest on the pecking order. Now the new chicks know to stay away from food when served, or dropped at their feet, as when compost is fed. I open the mobile first in the morning cuz i noticed the littler ones are slow to exit. I had to scoop the poop out to get them to go out into the day, be the worm-getting early birds and it was hard. Then when I finally let out the main flock a few of them went into the mobile, as if to show that was their space too. Now I'm feeling that if I closed off the mobile the newbies would just stay outside and not enter the main coop on their own. Yes, I should have put them into the main coop that first determining night, but didn't, so what do I do know. In deep do-do, Nick
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are the new pullets?
     
  3. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They never told me at the store. By looks maybe two months younger or slightly more than the roosters I took in to replace. Seems all I can try to do is to go out there and shut up the mobile leaving the whole rest of the day for them all to realize they are one flock and the big coop is plenty big enuf for all. I'll go do that now, but will heed any other reasonable suggestions. Much Thanks, Nick
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I think you’ve handled it pretty well. Everything sounds really normal. Don’t beat yourself up. And absolutely do not panic.

    Even if they are fully integrated into the flock, immature chickens are always lower in the pecking order than mature chickens. Immature chickens are usually afraid of mature chickens for a very good reason. If they get too close they get pecked or worse. It’s normal for them to form a separate sub-flock and avoid those big bullies as much as they can. What you’ve done so far sounds perfect.

    We all have our own ways of integrating chicks but what I’d suggest is leave those chicks locked in that mobile coop for about a week so the other chickens can see them and get used to them. Then try letting them range together during the day. Provide separate feeding and watering stations so the younger ones don’t have to challenge the older to eat and drink. At night the younger will go back to that mobile coop to sleep. Great! They are not locked in the coop with a bunch of bullies that might beat them up.

    It’s possible the young ones will move into the main coop on their own, but not for a while. I’ve had that happen. You can certainly wait longer if you wish, but after at least a month you can move them into the main coop at night. They should not be that hard to catch after they’ve gone to bed and it’s dark. You may have to do that a few times before they start going in on their own, but usually once is all it takes for mine. They will still be at the bottom of the pecking order but they should be OK. I’d still be down there pretty early the first few mornings to open that pop door until I was comfortable they will be OK.

    When they mature enough to force their way into the pecking order they will become fully integrated into the flock. Until them they’ll probably continue to be a separate sub-flock. My pullets normally mature enough about the time they start to lay.
     
  5. rccola7

    rccola7 Out Of The Brooder

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    I introduced my new, young flock of chickens to my older hens in all the right ways, and yet they were still ostracized. They young-uns were not allowed up on the roost, they were chased away from the food, and the old hens literally set up an ambushing station where one would stand guard, one was the rusher and the other herded them behind the coop where they would cower for hours. Mine are free-range in a fence, and I finally set up a temporary fence through the middle so they could at least walk around in the day without being terrorized. After a couple of months when they got bigger, I finally took the fence down, and decided they were going to have to just work it out. It was still tense for a couple of weeks, until one of my faster-growing young roosters had enough of the old hens and stood up to them, and they pretty much got along after that. Human beings are very much about being fair and just, and chickens, well, they're just not. It's all about size and attitude. Just know that even if the start is rocky, that doesn't mean their situation isn't going to change, it will change as they all grow and mature. A friend told me "As long as they're not drawing blood, don't interfere." But it's very hard not to. Hope this experience helps.
     
  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    It is normally best to let the old flock get used to the new in seperate quarters before putting them together so leaving them in the mobile coop for a few weeks might be a better idea depending on it's size. The old ones get used to them and the new ones have a chance to settle in before the pecking order games begin.

    I've also seen set ups where you make a safe areas with food stations that the entrances are too small for the older bigger chickens so the smaller can have somewhere to run to safety and be sure of food and water. Think I'm going to try that with my current 4 week old when I put them in the main run.
     
  7. chickentvforme

    chickentvforme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This post has been so much help for me too. I just started integrating my young chicks with the older birds (1 rooster and 2 hens). To my surprise the Rooster is really very good with them but the hens are a piece of work. They love to snatched a few feathers out of a passing chick for no reason (I'm sure they have one). Hard not to interfere because it looks so mean. Do yall sit out with the flock the whole day or just check on them? I did the same thing and put my young ones in an urban coop inside of the run. Now the babies just head there and not the main coop. *I'm so sorry to butt in on your post*[​IMG]
     
  8. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, thanks all. I dunno what I was expecting: peace & Harmony? Phaugh, eh! I'll give them another week in the refuge of the mobile. They mix in the run by day, but at least get some rest at night this way. Now my mind can rest, thanks to y'all
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They might need more than a week...they should always have some 'refuge' somewhere.
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I raised chicks in the flock. They have ALWAYS lived with these birds, and my pullets are a sub flock. They are getting bigger, and as they do so, they are braver, but they are not roosting with the grown ups. A little age, a little bigger, and a little cold weather will make the flock come together as one.

    Even bullies are not so picky when it is cold.

    Mrs K
     

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