New additions gone bad...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Joecool1994, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Joecool1994

    Joecool1994 Out Of The Brooder

    45
    1
    26
    May 11, 2013
    Indiana
    Hello BYC! Just yesterday afternoon we bought 3 chickens, GLWs, and we had them in a large dog cage as I know you can't just add them to your flock. Their cage is inside the pin with our other 6 chickens, 3 BOs and 3 BRs. They are all, including the 3 new ones, about 2 years old. When we got to the place in which we bought them, none of them had their tail feathers, at all and some of the feathers on their back were gone as well, I'm surprised cannibalism hadn't occurred with the shape they were in. (They had mentioned their leghorns were beating of them) We didn't know this in advance I felt really bad for them.

    Our current chickens were watching and acknowledging them, didn't seem it was going to be a problem. So this morning I brought snacks out to them all plus their water and food. It seemed like it wasn't going to be bad up until we let them out to see what would happen. It all went well at first, the BOs were eating snacks with them side by side and the BRs were too but they had more distance than the BOs. We decided to go in and when we looked out our back window, one of the 2 smaller BRs were biting (biting more than pecking) and bumping chests with one of the GLWs. We ran out there to create attention to try to get them to stop, they stopped for a bit but stared at each other. They started back up again so I snatched the GLW up and put her in the cage. When the others were around, my father had noticed one of the BOs pecked at one of the other GLWs, not a fight but just a peck, so we snatched the other 2 up and put them back in the cage.

    These GLWs aren't very big, they are smaller than our smallest 2 BRs, and really almost half the size of the biggest BR and the 3 BOs.

    Has anyone had anything like this happen to them with chickens of the same age? Is it too late to add new chickens to your flock or does it take more time before we let them out? I thought they were good but I now see that they aren't. I don't want our current chickens to think it's ok to take tail feathers off of each other like the new ones are used to. Would our chickens seeing that set an example of how they should treat each other? If anyone has had an experience like this and could it, it would be greatly appreciated. Any advice would be helpful, even if it's telling me that mixing them won't work at all.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this!
     
  2. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    385
    39
    88
    Sep 11, 2014
    Maryland
    Sounds like regular pecking order establishment. Don't intervene unless blood is drawn. Usually one will submit or run off.

    As a side note, did you quarantine? If not keep a sharp eye out for illness. Since the GLWs are missing feathers also do a very thorough inspection for mites and lice.
     
  3. Joecool1994

    Joecool1994 Out Of The Brooder

    45
    1
    26
    May 11, 2013
    Indiana
    Yeah, I thought it was the pecking order. I'm just worried that my chickens will assume it's ok to take tail feathers off the bottom hen like these new ones are used to which to me is not ok, I'd rather have good looking chickens. I read somewhere that if they do this that you can buy something to put on their nostrils/beaks to make their accuracy bad so they can't peck.

    I never thought about mites or lice, I guess I don't really know what I'd be looking for when inspecting them. Are they very noticeable or are they hidden in not so obvious places?

    I did notice right away when we brought them home that one had a dilated eye but we looked it up and assumed it could have been from either being pecked at, making it blind, or could be temporary from the transition/move to our place. It was just one eye though, the other was fine.

    Thank you very much SRF for the response, I will look into how to detect mites and such and how to make sure they don't have diseases. Going to be pretty angry if they do.
     
  4. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    385
    39
    88
    Sep 11, 2014
    Maryland
    Mites and live are usually pretty obvious around the vent. A google image search will show you what to look for. If the original hens start going after the bare skin you can coat it in blue kote. But just be careful, it stains everything! Also a higher protein feed like a flock raiser or even chick starter will help the new girls grow their feathers back quicker.
     
  5. Joecool1994

    Joecool1994 Out Of The Brooder

    45
    1
    26
    May 11, 2013
    Indiana
    Ah ok, I just looked it up, so it's pretty obvious when you move the feathers out of the way. I will definitely be looking be checking them, if they have them, I see you can buy a spray and spray the chickens and the area they live in to kill them off. Haha well if it happens I will do whatever it takes to make sure the back pecking stops!

    We had a little bit more space than their last home and they had more than double the amount of chickens we have so boredom could be a factor in all the feathers being pulled out and I'll buy cabages and string it up for them to peck on.

    I'll run to the store here after a bit to get some food that has higher protein in it for them. Do you know how long it usually takes until their feathers grow back? One of them has quite a few of them back, it's more of a fuzz where they used to be now.
     
  6. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    385
    39
    88
    Sep 11, 2014
    Maryland
    It will probably take a couple weeks to fully feather out. Sevin dust is also very effective on the birds and coop.
     
  7. Joecool1994

    Joecool1994 Out Of The Brooder

    45
    1
    26
    May 11, 2013
    Indiana
    Oh wow, that's not bad at all! I thought for sure that it would take at least 2 months to fully grow them back. I will look into the Sevin dust as well, probably actually buy it even if they don't have mites/lice just in case some day they do get it and I have it on hand.

    Thanks a lot for the help, I greatly appreciated it!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by