Mean Chickens

ChickensnBoys

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
6
0
7
Ok…so we lost two hens yesterday. It was horrible. That left two hens in our flock. We got them from a friend who says they are americaunas. And while they do lay blue eggs they don't look like americaunas to me. They are 11 months old.

Anyways, we went this morning and picked up four rhode island red hens. They are six months old and about to start laying eggs.
We have owned chickens for all of two weeks and have ZERO experience, so imagine my horror when I walk into the coop and see the four newbies cowering in fear in a corner, one bleeding from a cheek injury and the original two hens attacking them anytime the newbies try to get food or water.

WHAT THE WHAT???? Why are my chickens mean? Before today they were the sweetest little hens ever. Suddenly they are the Regina Georges of the chicken world. Why? What do we do? For tonight we took the two naughty ones out and put them in the chicken tractor for the night. The newbies got the big coop all to themselves. But long term??? What do we do??? HELP!!!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Sorry about the loss of your first hens. Here is a good article from the Learning Center on adding to your flock.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock What you are seeing is perfectly normal behavior on the part of your older birds. You can't just toss new chickens in with your resident ones. There needs to be a fairly long period of "seeing but not touching" so they get used to each other and sort of get the pecking order established before actually coming in physical contact. The easiest way to do that is usually though wire, either split the coop into two parts, or put a cage etc in the coop ... if you have a tractor that should work perfectly if you can put it in the coop, or in the run during the day... do this for a few weeks, then let them free range together for another while before combining them in the coop.
The older birds are probably Easter Eggers, they are mixes usually with Ameraucana in their ancestry and (hopefully) lay blue/green eggs that hatcheries often incorrectly sell as Ameraucana, true Ameraucana have to meet a written standard etc.
 
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