Need some help w/ new hen integration

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jamielynn, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. jamielynn

    jamielynn In the Brooder

    27
    0
    22
    May 6, 2009
    NH
    Hi,
    We are new to having back yard chickens this year. April, actually. We were given a coop and 8 year old hens due to a family moving. We decided to add to our flock of ladies and gettng 4 Pullets on Monday. This past week(Tuesday) we took on a 1 year old hen from a person down the street. Their enitre flock was taken by a fox and this hen was the lone survivor.
    This is my first experience with bringing in a new chicken and my original 8 are mean. Aside form the feather picking which I expected they are attacking her comb. She runs in a corner and buries her head down to protect herself. Is this normal and will it pass? They let her in the coop the first night but not on the roost. Now she does go on a lower bar of the roost alone. My husband built a separation for when I am gone right now. The hens can see her, but can't get at her.
    Any suggestions? I ama little nervous bringing the younger birds home.
    Thanks for helping a newbie!
    Jamie
     
  2. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    6,069
    224
    306
    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I have always had a problem with adding younger chickens. I keep them separate for about 4 months. The older ones always try to kill the young ones. I wish I knew the trick to it. I even had DH build a smaller pen inside the coop and kept them in there for a while and when I let them join the flock they got attacked. So I just wait until they are about the same size as the bigger ones. They have a better chance.
     
  3. jamielynn

    jamielynn In the Brooder

    27
    0
    22
    May 6, 2009
    NH
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Is that comb attcking normal and will it stop?[​IMG]
     
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    6,069
    224
    306
    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Mine did, they are establishing "Pecking Order" Mine did it for a few weeks.
     
  5. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    13,212
    33
    313
    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I should never read these as tired as I am, I read it interrogation....
     
  6. jamielynn

    jamielynn In the Brooder

    27
    0
    22
    May 6, 2009
    NH
    Quote:[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. jamielynn

    jamielynn In the Brooder

    27
    0
    22
    May 6, 2009
    NH
    Quote:Good to know. I know it is normal, but it is awful to see and hear. Should I continue to keep them separated and have them togethe in small increments. Basically what I am doing now, is having them together in the morning, ten separate the new one when I leave, though they can lal see eachother, and then pu them together when they are ready to go in the hen house for the night.

    I amalso trying to decide when to let this obviously stressed new to us hen out with the girls to free range. I would hate fo her to freak and run off.

    Thanks for all your help with these newbie questions.[​IMG]
     
  8. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    1,901
    24
    176
    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Integrating new chickens is almost always difficult. I keep mine separate for 3 weeks (adjacent runs and coops). Then I allow them "supervised" visitation until I know I can trust them. What you are seeing is not at all unusual. If they draw blood--they could turn on the new hen and kill her--that is why I watch them closely at first. Free-ranging is a good way to let them get to know each other, but take it easy with leaving them unsupervised. You may have better luck putting her with the young pullets, then integrating the whole batch when they are at least 4 months old. That is aside from the whole quarantine issue, which us a whole nother can of worms.....
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    18,079
    3,860
    471
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
  10. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    I should never read these as tired as I am, I read it interrogation....

    OK, WHICH ONE OF YOU POOPED IN THE WATERER???

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: