New chicken is going crazy!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nbark7, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. nbark7

    nbark7 New Egg

    Nov 16, 2015
    Hi, this is my first time posting here, hopefully you all can help. Yesterday I added 4 new 3 month old hens to my tiny flock (originally had two 8 month old bantam hens). The 4 babies were in a coop someone made from a hutch, so never outside or really moved anywhere. She still had a heat lamp on them. So with the big change they probably already have shock from that, but now one of my new Rhode Island reds is acting a bit strange. Won't move when I touch her, I place her in the coop so my dogs can go out and she goes bat crazy jumping and hitting her head off the top. Was kind of freaky to watch. She didn't seem sick when I had them quarantined for a short time berore intoducing to my new ones, so I'm at a loss of what is wrong. Is this normal when chickens get such a darastic change? Have any ideas what it could be??
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It could be an extremely fearful reaction, sometimes they will freeze and hide their heads when they are frightened, or they could be over stimulated. Hopefully it will settle down, try to minimize anything stressful for a bit.
  3. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot

    Aug 20, 2015
    Rockingham NC
    Is she getting pecked by other hens? Mine did this too but they had to establish a pecking order.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It shouldn't be a surprise that young pullets suddenly introduced to a much larger and different environment after spending all their lives so far in a very confining space react with fear and anxiety.

    Chickens do much better adapting to change if you can make it gradual. Your new "babies" would probably benefit from the perceived safety of an enclosure only slightly larger than their hutch in which they grew up. Shrinking the world that they need to deal with might help reduce the anxiety this one pullet seems to be having.

    If you can let them co-exist for about a week with your older chickens, kept separate but still be allowed to see one another, it could give them time to adjust to the new coop and the chickens without the stress of having to jump right into the pecking order.

    After this interval, you can then try letting the two groups out together. In cases where you are bringing in new chickens to an existing flock, having plenty of space is important while the pecking order sorts itself out.
  5. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot

    Aug 20, 2015
    Rockingham NC
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I agree. I just put 4 4.5 month old girls with my flock yesterday and its their first time of experiencing free ranging. They were over-excited yesterday morning for a couple of hours, but by the afternoon they had settled down and seem to have already established where they fit in the pecking order and there is very little squabbling (it was funny to see my 6 week old cockerels try and assert dominance over the 4.5 month olds though [​IMG]). I would imagine that they will settle down very quickly.

    Good luck

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