New chicken being bullied

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by calichickenn, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. calichickenn

    calichickenn New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Mar 1, 2016
    So a few months ago, my family and I bought 3 chickens and a coop. We live in a city where we aren't allowed to have roosters. A couple days ago, one of our chickens, who is very aggressive and has a large comb, started crowing so we decided to take him back to the feed store and trade him in for a female. We decided to get a welsummer that is about 5 weeks younger than our other chickens. As soon as we let her into the coop the other hens started attacking her until she was forced into a corner. They have still been attacking her whenever she is within 3 feet of them. Their run is plenty big for them to be over 9 feet away, but the welsummer hasnt been able to get food or water without being attacked. We don't have anywhere to keep the welsummer isolated and we have no clue what to do. Please help!
     
  2. amydanielle147

    amydanielle147 Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 1, 2016
    California
    If I were you I would take her back and get 3-4 chickens that have been kept together. I had the same issue as you and my flock ended up killing her, it was terrible! Would hate for you to experience the same thing!
     
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,184
    260
    211
    Jul 18, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    Since they've already been in with each other, quarantine becomes a moot point. But can you put her somewhere, a dog crate, section off a part of the coop so they can see each other and become used to each other?
     
  4. garryc

    garryc New Egg

    5
    2
    9
    Feb 29, 2016
    Elk Grove, CA.
    I started with 5 chickens and brought in 2 more. The original 5 attack the newer 2. The issue you're describing is the exact thing I am going through. From what I have researched; chickens are very territorial. There is an established pecking order and any outsiders introduced it seems messes things up. My hopes is that eventually the dust will settle down and my younger 2 will eventually get accepted into the flock.

    I have been just monitoring the situation and only redirecting when I feel it's necessary. I do not redirect unless harm is being imposed. I feel like as more time goes the 5 originals will accept the 2 newer chickens as the lowest rank.

    In your situation I think you need to allow time and also allow space. I have a medium sized back yard and allow all 7 to free range. It's been about 3 weeks now since I integrated the 2 newer ones. Things are now to the point where the original 5 no longer attack the newer 2, unless they feel the newer 2 over step their boundaries. At one point we even stuck the newer 2 in a dog crate so that the original 5 could check them out in a safe way. It's finally gotten to the point where the dog crate is no longer needed.

    I think if you have them all cooped up in a run then there's going to be issues. I think if you can allow them to free range in your yard and allow your new edition the ability to escape away it might help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,765
    4,171
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You need to read the article I wrote on introducing a single hen into a flock. Chickens don't tolerate a new chicken in their midst very well. There is a procedure you need to follow. It takes time and effort, but she will be accepted in time.

    Click on the third article linked below and you'll see what you need to do.

    It would have been better if you had gotten one more chicken so the focus would be spread over the two of them, but you can still integrate one.
     
  6. calichickenn

    calichickenn New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Mar 1, 2016
    No that's the thing. We don't have anywhere to isolate her.
     
  7. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,768
    579
    291
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia

    It doesn't take much. A few tomato stakes and some cheap plastic wire down one end of the run. At night put her in the coop late and get up early before them to let her out again.
    This is our broody area using that method.
    [​IMG]

    If you have room I'd be tempted to get another one to put with her. While they may eventually stop attacking her she will probably always be a loner otherwise, especially being a different breed too.
     
  8. calichickenn

    calichickenn New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Mar 1, 2016

    Unfortunately my dad says that we can't for some reason. I don't understand why, but he says that they "need to work it out on their own". I don't think she'll live if they keep treating her like this.
     
  9. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,768
    579
    291
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia
    Sorry to hear that, sadly you might just be right. Chickens are quite capable of killing each other. Dad needs to do a bit of reading on how to safely introduce new chickens because its just not that simple. Sorry, will have my fingers crossed for her.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,765
    4,171
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Just throwing a new hen into a flock without any steps to protect her and to make sure she gets enough to eat during the breaking in period, is both ignorant and cruel. I apologize in advance if I offend anyone with this statement.

    It's not rocket science to understand the pecking order in a flock of chickens. We're human with superior brains and we are responsible for our flocks. To carelessly disregard the realities of what a new chicken will endure when introduced into an existing flock is shameful.

    At the very least, you could help this new hen to survive by taking her out away from the others twice a day and feeding her. The other chickens are likely to starve her if you don't do this. If you can't isolate her for her safety, then see if you can find an old chair or stool or a broken tree branch that you can place in the run for her to hind behind.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by