New chicken is not assimilating ... very aggressive

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickendummy, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Chickendummy

    Chickendummy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    In an attempt to increase egg production ... I bought another hen, a Rhode Island Red. I had three New Hampshire Reds who are very gentle, real sweeties. I was worried that they would not accept a newcomer because I had heard horror stories about how introducing a new chicken into an established flock could spell trouble for the new bird.

    Just the opposite has happened, the new hen is very aggressive, it pecks the heads of the others while they're eating and scares them away from the food and water. It also stands alone and makes an open mouth posture as if it is trying to crow but no sound is made. It laid one egg the day I brought it home, two days ago, and hasn't laid since. I am concerned that it will disrupt the laying of my sweeties and negatively impact production.

    We haven't decided on a name for it, but I'm ready to call it "dinner". How long should I give it to assimilate? Will it be a sweetie, too? I know these are just chickens, but its behaviour has brought a certain "atmosphere" that is unwelcome.

    CD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  2. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Give her at least a month. Chicken society is naturally very exclusive and intoducing newcomers is always stressfull.

    One tactic you can try is seperating her with another hen for a month or so, then and reintroducing them together. It seems to go easier when it's a group merging with another group rather than individuals. However at this point it might just be better to let them settle it as it is.

    As long as no blood (or very little-they are quite savage) is being drawn. Just let then work it out. [​IMG]
     
  3. Chickendummy

    Chickendummy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Thanks for the reply. A month?? Okay. [​IMG]

    I was inclined to just let them work it out. I've been checking, but no bloodshed yet. That was my worst fear.

    Can you tell me, since you have experience with mixed breeds. My three sweeties, I believe are NH Reds. They have that typical brown color with white accents on their feathers. The new hen - I called it a RI Red - has brown with black accents. It also has a very sharp beak as the others have a more blunt beak. When it eats it spills more feed on the ground that it eats. [​IMG] One of the reasons I chose it was to have a variety of color. You have a tremendous variety (I looked at you page. Wow) Anyway, the feed store where I purchased them just calls them all "reds". What do you think? I have some pictures of my sweeties posted on my page. None of the new meanie, yet.

    Thanks again,

    CD.
     
  4. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, it takes a ridiculously long time for them to integrate in most cases. Hopefully will go more quickly for you. She may become a sweet lap chicken or maybe not, they're very individual. But giving up on her and trying another new hen is a crap shoot too, might be better, might be worse. [​IMG] But if they haven't drawn blood yet, they probably won't. [​IMG]

    Your sweet hens look like a red or gold sex link like my Ella. NH reds tend to have dark or red tails. Black tail could be a Production Red or new Hampshire or hatchery quality RIR, whatever she is she is, she's probably bred for production rather than looks so they can vary quite a bit in appearance.

    The difference in beaks is just an individual thing, doesn't have anything to do with breed. Eating manners is the same thing, I have some who just dump food on the ground and others who carefully pick what they want out of the feeder.
     
  5. Chickendummy

    Chickendummy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Okay, ella, I'll relax. Thanks for the wisdom and insight.

    CD.
     

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