New Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dancinhorse, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. dancinhorse

    dancinhorse New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 23, 2008
    NH
    I have 3 older hens in a semi large coop. They are around 3 yrs old. I have 2 hens I started as chicks. They are now fairly big at 3 months old. I've been trying for weeks to get them together. Two of the older hens attack the youngins. they corner them in the inside coop and keep pecking at them. the two young ones do not stick up for themselves at all. I've tried putting them in at night when all is quiet. I've kept them in a small pen inside the large pen so the older hens can see them and be with them but not touch them. Yesterday the two young ones fly over their pen and got attacked again. How can I get the two older hens to stop? I really need them to be all together before the cold weather comes.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    41,652
    16,943
    936
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How much space(feet by feet) do they have in the coop .....and in the run, or do you free range?

    How long where they physically separated before letting them touch?
    Good to do this for a few weeks, youngers pen needs a top so they can't get out.

    Are there places to hide out of sight and/or get up and away from olders?
    My 4mo pullets spent the days up on the roost boards for a couple months before merging with the olders.

    Are there multiple food/water stations?

    Every time you put them back together the pecking order thing starts over.
     
  3. jennydunning

    jennydunning Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Aug 18, 2011
    I'm having the same problem. My pullets (one hen and one--surprise!--rooster) are just about 4 months. I have kept them separate from the others but the little pen is too small for them now and there's no way to incorporate a nesting box. Two days ago I put the newbies on the roost with the 3 big girls just as dark was falling. The big girls (they are large breeds--2 Orpiningtons) attacked the littles first thing the next morning. I was mostly worried about timid Emily Dickenson, didn't pay much attention to the recently rechristened rooster, Orlando (I used to teach college English, can you tell?). My coop/pen arrangement is rather elaborate--a generous sized under-roof coop with nesting boxes and an attached tunnel and fenced woodland yard. Orlando went down the tunnel and was hiding out in the yard. When I went to get him, seeing that he didn't come in from the rain, early last evening, I found that the big girls had pecked his head until he was A BLOODY MESS. Yikes. Now I'm afraid to put them together. I feel like my coop/pen arrangement doesn't give the newbies an easy way to hide out from the big girls. WHAT TO DO? WHEN CAN I SAFELY PUT THEM TOGETHER? And should I try to treat Orlando's injuries? I did dab Neosporin on the exposed flesh last night. It's bloody but not bleeding. This morning, back in his little pen, he did eat. ARE ROOSTERS HARDER TO INTEGRATE THAN HENS?
     
  4. dancinhorse

    dancinhorse New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 23, 2008
    NH
    I had them totally separated for two months. then when I put the young ones in the same coop as the larger ones, they immediately attacked. so then I put the two youngins in a small pen inside the outdoor pen. I do not free range. too many predators to do that. I have lost hens before so now I keep them penned. my larger pen is around 16x16. I do only have one feed and water station. someone told me that it is because the youngins are still peeping. even though they are pretty large in size. I will just keep them separated for a longer period of time and see what happens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by