New Chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SJUDD, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. SJUDD

    SJUDD Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 5 hens between 1-2 years old. My girlfriend gave me a 3 month old chick to add to my coop. The hens all beat on her relentlessly. I was told to leave them alone unless they get really aggressive. I have gone out and rescued her a few times when they had her cornered and were just plain wailing on her. I push them off of her, pick her up and check for injuries and so far they have not made her bleed. She found a "safe place" on top of the nesting box however, once she got up there, they wont let her down. Even when I let them out for free ranging, she stays up there. So I ended up putting food and water up there for her. After a couple of days she started coming out when they are free ranging but as soon as I put them back into the coop, they beat on her until I stop it. Last night when I picked her up and checked her, she cuddled into my shirt and made these strange cooing noises. My husband says that she now thinks I am her mom. My husband lets them out in the morning and I put them back when I leave for work so I can let the dogs (who are not yet used to the chickens) outside for the day. Then when I get home from work I bring the dogs in the house and let them forrage in the backyard until about 8pm. When I went out there to herd them into the coop this morning, the chick flew up onto my shoulder and stayed there while I fed the ladies and then when I got close to the nesting box, she jumped off and sat down on top of the nesting box. I thought this was odd but I went with it.
    It has been 8 days and they are still picking on her. I was told that would end after a few days. Am I interferring with the natural order of things with rescuing her when they get too rough on her? Should I leave them alone? I have to admit I like the way she has bonded with me but I don't want to prolong her beatings by continuing to rescue her. This is my first chicken coop so I am not sure of how I should act. Thanks for any advice given.
     
  2. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    Yeah she probably thinks your her mommy lol, at very least you are the night in shining armor that keeps the bullies away lol.

    You might be interrupting the "pecking order" but if you intend to keep it in there they will figure things out.

    I just got 6 chicks and had to add them to my other 8 chicks and the new ones were about 2 weeks older than my original ones. They chase my younger ones around, keep them in a corner, and dont allow them to eat or drink unless they get brave enough to run by and sneak one. What I ended up doing is running a fence directly down the center of the coop so they can not get the younger ones, it is only a 3 foot fence and they can actually get over it and do that a few times a day but they always go back to their own side. It has worked for now I am just hoping they get past it lol, I feel like I am interrupting their pecking order but its hard to see my babies not eating while the bullies beat on them so I have to make due.

    I would say your doing fine, just enjoy the cuddle time because soon enough she will have more important things to do than hang out with you lol.
     

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