Mean chickens! How long before I should worry?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by newchicks13, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. newchicks13

    newchicks13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2009
    So, I am trying to introduce two younger chickens (5 months old) to two older ones that I have (about a year and a half old). We had them separated by a common fence for just over 2 weeks. The intention was to keep them separated for a month, but the little rascals learned how to do a "flap and climb" situation a week ago and, at dusk everyday, would be in with the big chickens. After a few days of this, we figured that they had situated themselves in the flock, and clipped the fencing so they would all be together.

    It has been about 4 days now. The first day seemed fine, but for the past couple days the younger chickens are being chased around the coop all day long. There is no blod or injury (I am watching for that) but simply mean torment and lots of squawking. There is food and water on opposing ends of the run, so no-one is hungry...but how long should thins adjustment process take? should we separate them again? I just want to make sure this habit doesn't stick around. Thanks!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    That squawking and chasing will probably go on for another month or two or three...lol. As long as there is no blood being drawn, consider it a decent integration. It sounds like you don't really have a bully at least, because a bully wouldn't stop with the younger bird running away. They're just settling issues with pecking order...want to make sure the young up-starts don't have any ideas of coop domination or anything.
    It's good that you have the food/water issue taken care of. If you don't have roosts in your run, you might consider adding one or two...or an old stump, big tree branch...basically barrier type things so that the younger gals have places to get to to avoid the older gals.
    My younger girls still get chased a few feet (and will often squawk) by my older ones when treats or food is involved, and they've been together for over three months. But most of the time there is harmony (although the youngers tend to hang together separately from the older gals.
     
  3. newchicks13

    newchicks13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Ok! I won't stress out about it too much. One of the older chickens does look like she has bullying potential (she tries to police both of the food containers in the morning) but gets bored about an hour after they are out. I'll keep watching to make sure there are no injuries. Thanks again!
     
  4. SarahBeth9394

    SarahBeth9394 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2008
    Prop a board up against the fence that has enough room for the youngins to run under but not the big girls when they are getting bullied. There will still be some pecking and chasing till they get to full size. By then they will be fine.
     
  5. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    Will they ever get along? I think the answer is yes, but it may take a long time or in some cases not. For us introducing new younger chickens to the flock has taken anywhere from 1 day to several months. The longest was our blue/silver Easter Egger, Princess Jasmine, who is both complete milk toast and at the same time a sneaky treat thief who skulks around looking for delicious treats to snag from high ranking hens. Why don't they like me? Nobody likes a thief! Needless to say she's not the flocks favorite member, but they eventually accepted her. It just took a really really long time.
     

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