New hen is horrible! Help!

lollydolly

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
75
1
39
Hi,

I had a small flock of 2 silkies who get along great but we wanted some new birds that were good egg layers, we were advised by a very good hatchery near us to get amberlinks as the are very friendly and lay well. So we purchased two and introduced them while the silkies were roosting. The silkies pecked at the new hens for a day and then they settled fine together. Unfortunately one of our new amberlinks died... (Of a stoke apparently) I called the hatchery and they said they would replace my hen as I'd only had her a couple of weeks. They advised against the amberlinks as they said mine was the fourth in the pen to have a stroke so they were watching them closely. My little girl picked out a hybrid bird, she was in a pen with the Colombian black tails. Again we were advised to introduce her when it was dark and while the others were roosting. We did this and rather than roost she came down into the run, we left her and I went out to check on her and she was still in the bottom, I picked her up and put her back in to roost and heard loads of banging and flapping, then I noticed my poor silkie (top hen in my pecking order) downstairs in the run making a funny noise and almost panting with a few of her feather scattered about. After some tlc I put the silkie back and have now taken the new bird out for the night but I don't know what to do. I'm used to the newbies being picked on but I've not had the new hen being evil before? Please help,
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
579
318
Northern California
It is never a good idea to mix breeds which are too different in size and appearance. Raising them together as chicks may prove different for many, but an established flock suddenly changed with a different breed can prove to be too disruptive and even fatal. Also, a quarantine period of at least 30 days is recommended for new birds that may be additions, since they should be observed for the possibility of contagious diseases during the quarantine period.
 

lollydolly

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
75
1
39
Thanks, I was advised by the hatchery to just introduce them at night which I've done, I was looking more for advise on how to calm the new bird down... Do anti pecking sprays work? Should I re introduce them while they are free ranging?
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
579
318
Northern California
Thanks, I was advised by the hatchery to just introduce them at night which I've done, I was looking more for advise on how to calm the new bird down... Do anti pecking sprays work? Should I re introduce them while they are free ranging?
I've always done it at night in the past. I always made sure I opened the coop up just before sunrise the next day to observe behavior. A little squabbling and typical pecking order behavior is fine so long as no one is getting injured. Bitter Apple spray for dogs works since birds hate the taste of it. Veterinarians Best is a brand of hot spot spray which has healing properties in addition to an unpleasant taste. You might consider that too.
 
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lollydolly

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
75
1
39
Thanks so much.... I've separated them tonight as they were attacking each other rather than roosting. I'll maybe get some spray in the morning and spray them all before letting them free range and re introducing them. x
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
579
318
Northern California
Thanks so much.... I've separated them tonight as they were attacking each other rather than roosting. I'll maybe get some spray in the morning and spray them all before letting them free range and re introducing them. x
You're welcome. I've never raised Amberlinks or Silkies. I do not know what breeds were used in the mix of Amberlinks, but that may indicate behavior. Some breeds are just prone to aggression more than others. I've seen that with other hybrids. Silkies are a sensitive breed since they have that soft spot in the skull making them prone to more serious injury if pecked. Just consider you may have to just keep one or the other.
 

lollydolly

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
75
1
39
You're welcome. I've never raised Amberlinks or Silkies. I do not know what breeds were used in the mix of Amberlinks, but that may indicate behavior. Some breeds are just prone to aggression more than others. I've seen that with other hybrids. Silkies are a sensitive breed since they have that soft spot in the skull making them prone to more serious injury if pecked. Just consider you may have to just keep one or the other.
The amberlinks were absolutely fine they are so placid and even after introducing the amberlinks my silkies were clearly still the top of the pecking order. but this new one I have is a hybrid - described as like the Colombian black tail.... I wanted another amberlink but they suggested against it as a few of them had gotten ill, Ill get some anti peck spray and see how they get on... Worse case I'll send the hybrid back.
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
579
318
Northern California
The amberlinks were absolutely fine they are so placid and even after introducing the amberlinks my silkies were clearly still the top of the pecking order. but this new one I have is a hybrid - described as like the Colombian black tail.... I wanted another amberlink but they suggested against it as a few of them had gotten ill, Ill get some anti peck spray and see how they get on... Worse case I'll send the hybrid back.
I'm curious as to who "they" are. Did they have the ill birds housed with ones you bought? Did they tell you why they were ill? How old are the birds?
 
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