New flock members being bullied...what do I do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RedKell, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    I have a small flock of 4 Isa browns, about 6 months old. Yesterday I was given 2 more chooks (white ones, don't know what breed). They are older than my flock, but smaller. I put them in together, and things seemed to be going OK. However now the old flock are bullying and pecking the new guys, and not letting them move about at all. It seems to be both one-on-one, and the whole group against one. I know they need to re-establish the pecking order, but how long should I expect this behavior to continue? I can't tell if it's one main chook instigating the attacks, but if it looks like it is should I pull her out for a day or two? She would have to go into a very small cage if I do. Any suggestions would be great
     
  2. hardscaper87

    hardscaper87 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2014
    My first question would have to be the coop size and roost space, do you have plenty of room in your coop, could be simple chicken math. It is normal for some pecking as the pecking order is established but I would say if they don't settle in within a week some separation may be needed.
     
  3. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    They should have enough space, the run is 3m x 1.8m, with a large coop inside that. The coop is on stumps to give them access to the dirt and shade under it (as it gets super hot here year round) There are multiple roosts both inside and out, so they can seperate easily.
    I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on them and give them more time. They don't seem to be doing the new girls any damage, just scaring the bejeus out of them :( I don't like seeing them so nervous :(
     
  4. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    [​IMG]
    This is the run/coop
    [​IMG]
    The inside of the coop, with one of the new girls hiding out
     
  5. ChristieB

    ChristieB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said you got the new chooks yesterday did you quarantine at all?
    My reading and minimal experience (my dad had chooks as long as I can remember but I've only recently got them again as an adult) is that you should never just throw a new chook in. Even if you choose not to quarantine you should at the very least house them separately but within sight of each other for a week or so before letting them in together. Chickens who have never seen another colour chook can be pretty racist too.
    Your run is quite small for 6 chickens unless they free range.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  6. ChristieB

    ChristieB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But other than that pecking is quite normal, it's how they establish order (pecking order as the saying goes) provided they aren't drawing blood, personally since they are already in I would leave them but supervise and maybe if you have to go out for more than an hour or so make a seperate pen for the new ones inside the run so they can have some respite
     
  7. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    I didn't think to segregate them first, and now am just trying to make the best of it :( Very new at this, and really have no experience with chickens.
    The girls are let out every day to roam, at which point they have access to half of the backyard. I used the recommended space of 0.8 - 0.9 meters square per chook when building the run
     
  8. ChristieB

    ChristieB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, normally it's advised to quarantine new chickens from your flock for at least 3 weeks to a month to watch for latent illnesses etc so you don't infect your flock. There's a huge thread on how to, if ever you get new ones again :) if they get time out of the run that would be ok in size then.
     
  9. ChristieB

    ChristieB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got new chooks yesterday too and they hid inside the pen all day, they are exploring now though and starting to get chatty. they tend to take a bit of time to adjust to a new environment plus adding an established flock to the mix they are probably pretty overwhelmed, just give them time
     
  10. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    OK, thank you for all your advise [​IMG]

    I think for now I will leave them as is, and intensely supervise all day. Hopefully they will all start to get along [​IMG] If not I might have to pull out the 'ringleader' for a while. Do you think I should let the new ones out to roam today with the flock? I'm a bit worried about getting them back in if they are not used to me!
     

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