new chickens in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by teamheiser, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. teamheiser

    teamheiser New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2012
    We are relatively new to raising chickens. We inherited two chickens that are approx 1.5-2 years old when a family member moved. We love having chickens and decided to add to the flock. On advice from the feed store, we got 3 new chickens. When they were about the same age, we put them together. They have been in the same coop for about 3 weeks now. Sadly, one of the little chickens died (dog attack). When they are in the coop together, the little ones stay on the perch, all the time. They will get down to eat and drink when the big ones go out of the top part of the coop. Will they ever get along or at least be civil? Also, the little ones are not laying eggs. They are 5 months old. I know chickens don't lay as much in the winter. I'm worried that the big chickens will never let the little ones into the nesting box to lay their eggs. Thanks!!
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    They should eventually get along. It just takes time. So long as they are not getting injured and can eat and drink then just give them more time. They're young to chicken-dom and will get more respect as they get older.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    Agreed. It is a pecking order thing. Chickens higher in the pecking order can be pretty mean to chickens lower in the pecking order if they get too close. Until they settle in, it can get kind of rough so the ones lower down in the pecking order learn to stay away from the ones higher up. If they have room, you may see two totally separate flocks, hanging out a long way from each other. If space is tighter, they may be on perches or hiding under nests.

    In my opinion, two things control pecking order, maturity and the spirit in the chickens. Notice I did not say size. Bantams will sometimes dominate full sized fowl. Once they are mature, it depends on which one wants it the most.

    Mature chickens will dominate immature chickens. That's just the way it is. I've had 15 week olds (not many to be sure and almost always cockerels) mature enough to mix in with the adult flock and find their own place in the pecking order. I've had some a lot older that were not able to. It's not a matter of age, but of maturity. Eventually, when they all mature, they will work it out.

    It sounds like your space may be tight. If you can, provide an extra place they can eat and drink away from the regular feeder. If you can, a separate perch or something to hide behind or under may be helpful. I can't tell you how long this behavior will continue, but it will eventually end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  4. teamheiser

    teamheiser New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2012
    Thanks! One more question. One of our pullets layed her first egg today!! So eggciting! It's so small. Just as I feared, she did not lay in the nesting box. I found the egg on the mesh wire under the roost. Not sure if she layed from the roost, 18inches high, or on the mesh. How do I get them to lay in the nesting box when they will not get off the roost when our big (and mean) girls are around?
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Good question. I started to say put a fake egg in the nest box then I read your question again. They're going to have to get down and lay them at some point and I'm sure when they do, it'll be in the nest box. Again, more time. Might have some wasted eggs but unless they do this for more than a week, every time, I wouldn't worry.
     
  6. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    If it continues, could you add a temporary nest box for them in an area that they seem to hang out in? I haven't seen many pullets start out laying in the right place. They seem to not know what is happening the first time or two that they lay an egg, and whoop, there it is.
    Welcome to your new addiction :)

    [​IMG]
     

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