New chickens being picked on and not laying eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickentender8, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. chickentender8

    chickentender8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Hi, I am new to chickens. I got 9 chicks in April, all were supposed to be hens, but 5 were roosters. Found good homes for the roosters, and had 4 hens left, 3 Australorps and one California white. A week ago we got 2 Rhode Island Reds and 2 Ameraucanas.
    They are almost 2 months older than my other hens, the Rhode Island Reds are laying but the Ameraucanas are not. My australorps are picking on the ameraucanas pretty badly. Could that be why they are not laying? The australorps and the california white are not laying yet, I am hoping that by October they will be old enough and will start laying. Any advice would be great!
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Did you pen the new birds next to the first ones for a while so they could get used to each other or did you pop them right in with the existing birds? If so, that generally is a guarantee'd fight. And yes, stress on the new birds can cause them to stop laying. When I have new birds to integrate I section off part of the run for them and they sleep in the coop in a wire dog crate. This allows everybody to get used to seeing the new birds but they can't attack them. I do this for as long as it takes for everybody to settle down. Once the new has worn off then there should just be some pecking order scuffles when they do join the flock.

    Once a hen or hen's get's it in her head to constantly attack a new bird it can be hard to break them of that. You may have to pull the attacker out for a few days, keep her separate, then try letting her rejoin the flock. She will have to reestablish herself in the pecking order. Sometimes this works, sometimes they go right back to the same behavior.
     
  3. sierras mom11

    sierras mom11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2012
    missouri
    Were they laying before you moved them? The stress of moving them, changing their feed etc. could make them stop and put them into a molt. If they hadnt started before you got them they will probably start when they get settled in. Did you put them into the pen with the others in daylight?? Because chickens always have to be introduced at night because they will kill any thing new, they are VERY territorial. Your original chickens will keep the others beat down and not let them eat or drink. At this point if you have a way of taking your originals out and put them in a cage by themselves for a few days or a week it would help. Then when you put them back in they will be the new guys on the block. Good luck with them and hopr this helps.
     
  4. chickentender8

    chickentender8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    No we did not seperate the new hens from the old ones. I wish we would have but being new to chickens I just assumed the hens would all get along. My original hens were so sweet, I thought they would like the new hens! The Rhode Islands have pretty much placed theirselves as the head hens, and the australorps and the california white seem to accept that, most of the time, but all the hens are picking on the 2 ameraucanas. We have tried putting distractions in the pen, more roosts, hanging shiny cds, big limbs for them to climb up on, some rotten logs for them to peck on.I have put several bowls of water and feed all around the pen because the Rhode Islands don't seem to want the ameraucanas to eat! So they mostly peck at feed and scratch i toss on the ground for them, I am sure that they eat out of some of the bowls of feed but since I can't watch them all day, i make sure that they have several options to get to the feed.
    Most of the time they all just mill around and scratch the dirt, but then the australorps look up and see the ameraucanas, and they chase them around. I feel so bad for them but I just do not know what to do. I thought about seperating them, but I do not have another coop to put the 2 ameraucanas in. I did not know that hens could be so mean! I love them though so I want them to all be good and get along, do you think in time they will?
     
  5. chickentender8

    chickentender8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    The girl we got the new hens from said they were laying so I just assumed the ameraucanas were laying too. But so far it is only the Rhode Islands that are laying.
     

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