Not sure what else I can do?!

Bear1978

Songster
Jun 16, 2020
602
1,330
226
Arkansas
Hey all!

I got a new hen to add into my existing 2 year old flock about a week ago.

The new addition is a hen that’s about a year old and my existing 6 hens are about 2 years old.

I did the whole “see no touch” routine for about a week but when I let the new girl out of the separate enclosure I still have a few jerk butthead chickens whole will go out of their way to get at her and attack her any time they see her! As of this morning the newbie is still on the roost as the others are roaming the chicken yard and chances are they won’t let her down to eat or drink.

I have two separate water and food sources, my chicken run area is 12x12 with plenty of things for the new one to zig and zag around to get them off her 6, but I’m just concerned she won’t come out to eat or drink as long as the couple jerks are pestering her..

I know integration of a new bird can take a few weeks im just worried she won’t be able to eat or drink anything before that time comes. If it ever does!

All I know is these chickens can be real
JERKS!

Any thoughts, ideas, advice?

Thank you!
 
Can you turn your original birds out of the set up? If so, do so, leaving the new girl in the set up. Or put the old where you had the new, and the new where the old are.

Next day, repeat, this allows the new to explore without being harassed.

3rd day, leave one of the non bullies in with her. There may be a dust up, but one on one, not 6 to 1.

repeat

4th day, add 1 or 2 more, leaving the most aggressive one out.

5th day let everyone out, watch carefully, I would expect it to go well.
 
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I only have a single run and one coop. So the only way I can separate them is with a dog kennel which is big enough for a single bird.

My coop nor my run is divided either…

Maybe if there was one main bully chicken I could put it in the kennel. But there’s at least 2 of them that do it and then the others join in.
 
Can you put food and water in the coop, at least temporarily?

I know a 12 x 12 run gives a lot of square feet for 7 chickens but it really doesn't give a lot of separation if a hen is standing in the middle. Clutter can help but this is an example of why integration usually requires more room than after they are integrated.
 
I had the same situation. 1 coop, 1 run, new single hen. I tried the cage the bully thing. I tried the cage the new girl thing. 6 months. It only got worse and worse to the point the bully was not letting the new girl in the coop at night. I had the opportunity to rehomed the bully and there is peace in the flock again. To be fare, the bully was also attacking other hens to the point of comb injuries with heavily bleeding hens. I have a zero tolerance policy on causing bloodshed. Pecking and short chases yes, that's normal.
It is VERY frustrating adding a single hen when you are limited on space being unable to add coops and runs.
 
I guess I could run some chicken wire or hardware cloth down the middle of the run to give rhe single new hen more room than just a dog kennel for a while and see how it goes after that? But how long will I need to do that for??
 

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