Need Help With Coop Dynamics Please!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by thailand, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. thailand

    thailand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hoping someone can help me please. I'm 7 months new to raising chickens and trying to learn as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    Seems I'm mucking things up dreadfully already!!

    Short story: 2 roosters and 1 pullet. All LF Brahma. All grown up together, best friends, now 7 months old. Alpha rooster and hen are an item, mating every day. (Don't think he is doing the job properly yet. She does NOT have a bare back from being over used). Beta rooster and hen are best friends only, he sits with her while she lays her eggs, NEVER tries to mate her. 3-4 weeks ago Alpha started picking on Beta. I stepped in (maybe I shouldn't have interfered so quickly?). Beta had developed a leg problem - wobbly when walking, mostly sitting down. Visited the vet etc. Decided perhaps simply overweight (he's huge) and maybe a vitamin deficiency. Separated into his own pen, but in the same barn, maybe 14 feet distance between coops. All three can see and hear and talk to each other. Beta now maybe 80% better at walking. My very placid Beta rooster started running and attacking ME! full on. Had never done this before.

    Whenever Alpha and hen were out of coop would sit next to cooped Beta, and vice versa when Beta was out and other two penned. After a week or so of this I decided maybe they could go back together again, at least to free-range during the day. Today was day 1. Both Alpha and hen attacked Beta. Alpha attacked maybe 3 times. Lots of squawking! No blood.

    So, tonight I've separated them into their separate coops in the same barn again.

    Just noticed today that my hen hasn't laid an egg for the last 3 days! Since she started laying she's been giving us 5 eggs a week. Suddenly nothing!

    Is my hen just stressed from all this scrapping??

    3 weeks ago I bought three 3 week old chicks (pretty sure at least 2 of them are pullets). So, they will eventually be paired off with the boys....but will obviously have to wait a while.

    It feels like I'm doing it all wrong and am mucking around with the dynamics of my chickens too much?

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Please help!

    Warm blessings,
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Flock dynamics can be complicated and sometimes it takes a little trial and error and patience. I know when I reintroduced a rooster after recovering from an illness there was some fighting. I decided to take him out and try something I read about on this forum. After the others were roosting for the night, I put him in the coop. This seems to reduce the direct confrontation because they wake up in the morning next to each other. If the fighting between your roosters hasn't calmed down, this may be worth a try. Your hen may be a bit stressed with the commotion, but I think she will start laying soon.

    Hopefully with the younger chicks won't question the dominance of the others since they will be smaller than the others when they are introduced.
     
  3. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Connecticut
    I also read that you should put them in the coop at night so they wake up to eachother. I'm going to try this when I introduce my new chicks to the other ladies (when, of course, they are all approx the same size -segragate them to a seperate fenced in area so they can look but not peck). Also, do you think there is a problem with hen to roo ratio? I've read that each roo needs his own group of ladies or they will fight eachother. perhaps alpha is coming of age and views beta as a threat?
     

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