New chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken11602, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. chicken11602

    chicken11602 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern IN
    Hello, my friend had a welsummers rooster and hen and they would never leave each others side, they would eat together and sleep together and would never leave each others side. If one was lost then the would call for each other. The rooster just recently died, and the hen is lost without him. My friend has 54 chickens and they all pick on her.
    My friend is dropping her off tomorrow and I want her make her feel safe and accepted. How can I make sure nine of my three RIRs don't pick on her, any advice is helpful!!! Thanks so much!!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They will pick on her.

    It's about territory and new chickens are always perceived as threat to the existing flock and thus need to be attacked. Adding a single bird is the hardest integration, especially into a small flock of 3.

    Any chance you can get 1 or 2 more birds to come with her? All of them being in a new environment might help, then you can add the 2 or 3 to your 3 for a better balance. They'll have to be kept separated by wire fencing from your flock for a few weeks.


    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

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