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Mean girls!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Denverchick40, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Denverchick40

    Denverchick40 Hatching

    Oct 12, 2017
    I have 4, 4 month old girls that I have had since they were chicks. I inherited a 3.5 month old Ameraucana 2 weeks ago. The initial integration was a disaster. My original 4 attacked the new girl and I ended up having to separate them. I split the new girl and 2 of my more docile girls for a week from the original flock. They could see each other but couldn’t do any damage. After a week I tried putting them together again. It’s going better, no one is attacking anyone (thank god!) but the new one isn’t part of the flock. She roots alone and when everyone leaves the coop she stays inside. She has spent most days, all day , for almost a week in the coop. She’ll leave if we shoo her out but won’t leave of her own accord. I have a small kennel in the run that I put there so she would have a place to hide. I’m not sure what else to do. I feel so bad for her. I wanted utopia where everyone got along but what I have is a bad high school movie with a bunch of mean girls!!!!! Any suggestions?!?!?
    Junochick likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Unfortunately that's the nature of chickens. If you think of it more as your existing birds are trying to protect and hold on to their territory, and the new bird is seen as an invader, than it's a bit easier to see their point of view. It's not about being mean, it's about survival.

    It's always bad to introduce a single bird as they tend to bond with flock mates as they grow up similar to how human children make friends more easily in grade school but than high school can be rough. Best to always introduce at least 2 or more is better.

    Eventually when everyone matures they will become more cohesive, but the one will probably remain on the outside somewhat unless she moves up the pecking order.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

    Nov 7, 2012
    Coop/run size may also be a small part of the issue here. General recommendation for back yard flock is a minimum of 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run per bird, with more space needed for integration, if there is a roo, or for brooding chicks. Agreed, integrating a single bird, especially one that is younger often does not go well. EE/Ams tend to be more timid.
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.

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