My 2 adult hens just attacked one of my 7.5wk old hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fruitbrute, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. fruitbrute

    fruitbrute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2014
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    Help! I recently moved my 5 bantam chicks out to the "grower" coop (ultimately will become my roo' coop) with my two grown sebright hens and today one baby OEGB hen was attacked by the adults. She's sleeping on my lap now in a little towel, pretty pecked up all over but I think she will be OK.

    I had set the chicks up in a pen adjacent to the adult hens for a week to get them used to each other, then let them all run around in a very large area (20' x 40') together for a few days before moving everyone, adults and chicks, into the "grower" coop about a week ago. It measures 84 in. x 42 in. x 57 in., and they get time to free range every day under supervision of my german shepherd.

    They've been fine, though the two adults have been a little bossy with the babies, but overall tolerant and they all sleep in a pile together without incident. What happened? What do I do? I am worried if this happens again when I am not home to intervene they will kill one of the babies.

    I am planning to keep the injured OEGB separate until she fully recovers. I am ordering another coop for her to stay in on my deck, as my "ER" coop is currently being used as a brooder box for two tiny pied guinea keets... ughhhhh

    What did I do wrong here, what can I do to remedy this? I have a much larger coop/run combo thing coming in 2 months, 6 x 12' run, hopefully the extra room will keep everyone happy? But until then...?

    coop.jpg chicks.jpg
     
  2. Tlmcq

    Tlmcq Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    You may have to wait til your lil guy is a bit older and can stand up for itself if the girls are being that rough with the lil one. Keep trying to get them slowly introduced by allowing them to see each other and interact with lil one safe. Just take it sloooow
     
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  3. fruitbrute

    fruitbrute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, maybe I will let the babies stay in the grower coop and keep Bob and Frog, my two adult hens, separate until the 5 babies are bigger.
     
  4. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with taking it slow. Human logic and chicken logic are two different things. o_O
    I always take it very slow when introducing newbies, and if it doesn't go well I back up and give it more time. I moved my 5 week olds out to a parallel run and they remained in it until 11 weeks old. They were out with the older birds for gradually lengthening periods under supervision until 11 weeks. I always base the 'right time' on how the birds are behaving rather than a calendar. Once the little ones are interacting a little and wanting to go in the big house, then I try to totally integrate. If something goes badly, back up for a week or so and retry then. Sometimes they integrate faster, sometimes slower. And adequate space is important, so that they can get away when needed. Some pecking order stuff is going to happen no matter what, so the more they can get away the better it will go. You can also install more roosts outside as an escape hatch so they can get up and away if they are being chased, likewise things to hide behind. Just nothing that could get them cornered. Eventually it will all calm down, but it will be when they are ready rather than when you are.
     
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  5. fruitbrute

    fruitbrute Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2014
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    Thank you so much, I really appreciate the advice and information. It's a lot like dog training and behavior it seems! (with the back up and give it more time, etc).

    I put the little OEGB back out with her siblings, she seems happy to be outside with them (and they were clamoring for her!) but I will keep a close eye, make sure they don't pick on her while she's down.

    Bob and Frog the superjerks are presently hanging out in my bathroom and couldn't be happier about that. I will just keep them separate from the babies (in a small coop on the deck) for a few more weeks, until people can defend themselves and there's more room. I'll still let them all out together in the large 20 x 40' paddock area for a few hours every day, as they seemed to do OK there when supervised as there is plenty of room to get around and do their own thing.

    I'm so bummed, they were seemingly all doing so well together!
    (and I feel so bad for the little OEGB, they are all really sweet and tame, and all she wanted to do after the attack was cuddle up with me)
    :(
     
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