Need advice after 1 failed attempt

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by iamchosen08, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. iamchosen08

    iamchosen08 Hatching

    Dec 1, 2011
    A few months ago I received an opportunity to receive two free chickens. Who could pass on that opportunity right? These birds were the calmest and most docile birds I have ever seen. They were from family down the road and I knew that that they did not have anything wrong with them. So I loaded them up and brought them home with me. Everything was fine while everybody was out in the yard. The dominate hen a black sexlink did not mind them. The rooster a silver phoenix acted like he was interested but was very sweet at the same time. And our other hen a golden sebright was fine until we put the new hens in the run that is attached to the roost. There it was like one of them said something to insult the other sebright and it was on. The jumped on her and started ripping out feathers and going for eyes and such. Seconds later the rooster got involved. Of course I was not going to sit there and allow this to happen to a defenseless bird as she just laid there.

    I do not want to introduce another adult bird to the flock. But I want more chickens as I donate extra eggs to people in the church. If I get some more hens this spring will I have an issue. I know the dominate hen is very mothering as she took the rooster and hen that I have know under her wing since she was the only one left after an attack by most likely a coyote. If the rooster keeps attacking my wife and the sebright won't accept another bird we might not have to worry about it soon.

    I would be open to any and all suggestions. Sorry if this has been asked before.

  2. hispoptart

    hispoptart Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    You should not have put them together so soon. The new ones should have been separated from the flock but close enough that they all can see and hear each other, then after a few weeks you could try to mix them together.
  3. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Songster

    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    Do you feel strongly about keeping the rooster? I agree that the newcomers should be kept separately for a time -we did it for a week though others say longer; our two groups managed to get around the barrier and be on the same side so we got lucky perhaps-
    our only problem with attacks came when a young hen turned out to be a roo and nearly killed our SLW. We were grateful to give him to someone who rehabs birds so we didn't have to make the tough choice about killing him. If you aren't breeding maybe the roo has to go.
    good luck.
  4. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    i agree with delaying the introductions - if at all possible. Sometimes even keeping the newcomers in a wire kennel, or using chicken wire to fence them off from the others for a few days helps but a week or two is better. Then at night, get the new chickens on the roost with the others. Plan to be there in the am when its daylight or your lights go on, and supervise.

    Make sure there are at least two waterers and two feed areas, and if you have a big open area, stick a crate or a bale of hay or something to provide a place to be out of sight for the newbies to hide.

    The other thing is, there will definitely be some fighting. I let it go on for just a little bit, and then distract by making a noise. If I can't get them to leave each other alone after an hour or so, I put them back behind a barrier and try again in a day or so.

    Best if is you are introducing at least 3 new chickens - it is much harder with just one chicken to introduce

    good luck

  5. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I always put newcomers in a pen NEXT to the existing one for at LEAST a couple weeks, so everyone can get used to each other. I also let them free-range together as the transition is easier on "neutral" ground.

    Then one night after dark I quietly slip the "newcomers" into the existing coop up on a roost.

    When everyone wakes up it's usually no big deal.

    I don't think I've ever had a problem integrating them this way.

    Hope this helps!

    PS I wouldn't keep a rooster that attacks people. There are too many nice ones out there to put up with a mean one.

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