New chicken questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by j83soldier, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    So I have 4 RIR and a duck (white, not sure what kind) I recently built a larger coop. The coop is about 4x8 foot and 4 foot high with 3 nesting boxes and a run that is about 8X8 ft and 4 foot high. After I built the coop I bought two barred rocks to add to the flock. Our RIR and duck where raised from the time they were hatched and get along. The duck thinks he is a rooster and actually stopped a fox attack by throwing his body at the fox when it got a hold of a RIR. That being said my new BRs are not as friendly, they are scared of people. I can work with that. Anyway we quarantined them for a month, slowly introduced them and let the fights go on. There was no blood and now all the chickens go in the same coop. However, 9 days later the BRs still get picked on. They are forced on a perch or nesting box and not allowed in the run at all. The duck is an absolute *** to them. I dont think she can hurt them but she pushes her weight against them and nipples on them non stop. Further more, we let our birds free range all day and the RIRs and duck do not mingle at all with the BRs. The BRs stay in their duo and my orginal birds stay in their flock. My questions are...

    How long does it take for the two groups of birds to free range togeather and form one flock?
    Does the duck change anything, will she eventually accept the new birds?
    What can I do to help this situation?

    My main concerns are we are going out of town and I dont want to leave them togeather in the run. The BRs will not get to the food in the run or in the coop. Any experiance in this would be great. Its almost been two weeks and from what I have read the pecking order is normally established by this time and the result is one big happy flock. I dont expect the BRs to come when called like my RIRs but I did expect them to range togeather and get along by this point. Thank you.
     
  2. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    Anyone???
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    The duck certainly does mix things up a bit. I've had chickens and ducks, but never together. With my original flock last year, even with just 5 birds, there were 2 distinct groups, and they were all hatched within 10 days of each other. The RIR and BSL are best buddies, and the 3 EE hang out together. This year's birds are all the same age, so now, i have even more of a sub flock issue: The original 2 groups, plus the youngsters who are still sorting out their friendships. You may always be facing the sub flock issue with the new PBR. The duck definitely sees them as intruders. Can you keep the duck away from the chickens for a while? How long do you have to work with them before you have to leave them? Can you put the duck out of the coop, and put one of the RIR with the PBR for a week, so the RIR will bond with the BR's?? I wish you the best. Do you have multiple feeding stations set up? Your run is a bit small for this much action, and this might be contributing to the issue.
     
  4. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    The run was only designed for a weekend away or so other than that they free range. When they free range they seemed to be doing better but tonight we locked them just in the run and all the chickens were really bullying them. Its been two weeks and it doesnt feel like it is getting better. The BRs are getting skinny even though when we free range them they have access to food. I am half tempted to leave them in the run togeather and just let them peck it out but its hard to watch. I regret getting two new birds at this point. Thoughts? Any tips?
     
  5. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Songster

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    In my experience when I have added older birds to the flock they fit in almost immediately. I have 3 groups of young birds all different ages and they stay with their individual groups. The younger ones do get bossed around by the older girls but there isn't any real fighting except from the Peking ducks "wally and Wanda" but we have taken them out of the run due to them trying to drown one of our young California blue muscovy ducklings. I have 9 ducklings in the run and they get along very well with the chickens but the mama muscovy picks on the 4 that aren't hers but not to the point of seriously injuring them. The ducklings have a safe area they can go to that the mama can not get into and they use it often. Chickens are strange, I just rescued 8 large barnyard mixes and after segregation I moved them in with the flock and 3 immediately moved to the top of the pecking order. I will never get Perkins again as they seem to be aggressive to my other ducks and chickens but this is only my experience others may have no issues. Our animals free range and have a half acre run so overcrowding is not the issue nor feeding and watering stations. If I were you I would separate the duck temporarily. Good luck.
     
  6. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    Thanks, I am going to try to seperate the duck and see what happens. I am also going to fence off a small area that is a little bigger than their run and let them "Free range" in a 10 by 20 area so they can get away yet are still forced in the same area.
     
  7. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    How long should I separate the duck from the chickens for
     
  8. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    Any idea on for how long crazy feathers
     
  9. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Songster

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    I would say 4 to 5 days and give it a try again. If your having the same issues I would fence off a section of your run for the duck. Our Peking ducks have not been allowed to reenter the flock yet, when I have a free day or just some time I will put them back in and watch and hope for no bad behavior. If there is picking I will section off my running or continue to let them free range. Best of luck..
     
  10. j83soldier

    j83soldier Hatching

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    Jul 9, 2014
    well its been a week and the duck is no longer an issue. however the other chickens still fight. I have read this should only take two weeks. I am now a month into it
     

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