new hens to my flock of four

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hollilynn, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. hollilynn

    hollilynn Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello!
    I am in the process of integrating two adult hens with my 4 adult hens. The problem is with the new hens. One is a RIR and the other is an Americauna. They are both together, separated from my hens in adequate space, with approx. 10x10 space to scratch around outside, in addition to coop space and nesting boxes. They are within continuous vision of my hens, so they can get used to each other. I thought the perfect arrangement:(
    For some reason the RIR has been aggressive toward her friend. They came from the same place and are supposed to be buddies, therefore rehomed together. She actually jumps on her back and pulls feathers! I now have them separated also. It is frustrating to have to do that because I was hoping to introduce them together.
    My hens consist of 2 RIR, 1 Sagitta and a Barred Rock. I guess my main question is, how much aggression is too much? No blood has been shed so far, but definite feather pulling.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions:)
     
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep an eye on them and separate them if any blood is drawn. If they are not bothering your other hens next door maybe try introducing them together for short sessions whilst supervised. Don't worry ,your two new hens they are just establishing a pecking order and will soon sort themselves out.
     
  3. hollilynn

    hollilynn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your response, I am not very good at watching them attack each other although I know that is the way things have to be done.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are the new birds?
    Are you sure the bully is not a male?
    RIR can be aggressive....might be why it was 're-homed'.
     
  5. hollilynn

    hollilynn Out Of The Brooder

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    The new ones are approximately one year old and both laying. If the RIR is clearly bullying the other chicken, i.e.: jumping on her and pecking, should I just look away and allow this to happen? It is obvious that the americauna has submitted and steers clear of her continuously. So far no bloodshed but, not comfortable living for the Americauna. Should I just add the RIR in with my chickens and let her get beat down a bit, or is it too soon? Both of these guys came Sunday evening. So about 5 days ago. When she sees my chickens free ranging, she definitely paces back and forth nonstop, as if she wants to be with them.

    I am not sure I am cut out for this chicken keeping after all, I think of them as my pets, not just a means to fresh eggs. :/
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Boy, I don't know....tossing her in with the flock will probably get her butt kicked, which may change her tune towards the other one.
    But as long as there's no blood and she's not getting pinned down and beaten might be better to let it ride.
    Do the 2 newbies have plenty of room, places to get away... is she getting to eat and drink?
     
  7. hollilynn

    hollilynn Out Of The Brooder

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    no blood shed, just some feathers pecked. And a very frightened chicken. She is pinning her though, jumps on top of her. She is getting to the food and water. I noticed when i separate them, the Aracauna seems to come out of the run more and be able to relax some. Again, if this is normal behavior and will go away, I guess I can tough it out if she can:(
    The only way to separate them is by leaving the RIR on her own in my yard. I can't leave the house cause, our yard is not fenced. The only fenced area is their paddock, which is where she pounces.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sometimes confining a bully bird in a wire dog crate can change their attitude too.
    Small wire crate, as close as possible to other birds.
    Keep them in for a few hours, let them out and if they continue to be mean, put them back in leaving them longer.
    Gotta play it by eye and ear, chicken juggling...lol.
     
  9. hollilynn

    hollilynn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your help! She pretty much has 2 acres to herself all day free ranging. As soon as she gets near the auracauna she jumps on her back, pins her down. She seems very agitated constantly, calling as if she is looking for something. I am about ready to rehome this rehomed bird. It has been a week! and no sign of improvement.

    Again, thanks for the advice!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Again that may be why she was re-homed.
    I'd keep her confined to wire crate...bully birds here get jail time often as a prelude to being invited to my dinner plate.
     

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