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Ok BYC Friends, I REALLY need your advice now!!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mags2009, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    I have 7 almost 21 week old chickens, and 3 almost 13 week old Easter Eggers. The others are 2 Buff O's, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 white rocks, and 1 red star. We have been trying to integrate these flocks for over a month. My husband built a pen within the run, so they would see each other. We would put the EE's out every day that we could considering rain/snow/cold. Even before we put them in the new pen, we would put them in the attached garden so at least they would all see each other. We tried several times to let them be together, but the older ones would always run right over to them and attack. I asked on this forum what to do, and many people said to wait until they were about the same size. Well, now they aren't quite the same, but close. I really would like to try to integrate before winter REALLY sets in here. I should mention that at night we bring the EE's in our garage, as my DH has built a pen for them in there, but they are quickly outgrowing it. today I went out to bring ALL of them some yogurt, and I had the door to the EE"S pen open as I was giving them theirs, and some of the bigger girls came right in and started to feed with them. I thought this was a good sign, but then one of my barred rocks, (the number one hen) came in and started to attack, so then they ALL started to attack. I got the others out, but thought this has to be figured out at some point. So I put ALL of the chickens in the garden(as there is more room) and my DH is out to supervise. The number one started to attack again, so I put her in the EE's "little" pen, and the others will attack if they come to close, but are otherwise leaving the EE's alone. Here are my questions:
    1. should we have the EE's roost with the bigger girls tonight, and have number one hen sleep in theee's pen in the garage?
    2. if so, will they wake up in the morning and kill the ee's?
    3. We just put the older girls on layer feed, as they are ALL squatting, so are expecting eggs any time, so if we do put them together, what do we do about that?
    4. Could putting the EE's in with them now, upset their starting to lay eggs?
    5. Has anyone tried those nose rings so they cannot hurt each other?
    Please help, this is so frustrating, I wish I knew the answer to this! Here are some pics of the small pen, the number one chicken, and one of the EE's.
  2. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sometimes it takes a LOOOOONG time! I have been trying to integrate my 7 spring pullets with my 6 older hens since June. They all range together and go in each other's coop to eat, but always lay eggs in their own coop and each group (especially the younger ones) sticks together.

    The alpha hen tolerates the pullets around her somewhat, but sometimes just goes after them for no apparent reason. Since your alpha hen is causing physical injury to the EE's, I think keeping her away from them is a good plan. Your other hens don't seem to be too big a threat to them.

    They say separating an aggressive chicken from the group for a while and then returning her works to take her down a few pegs in the pecking order. It didn't work with mine. She kicked some serious butt to regain her place at the top. It's frustrating, I know. I would like to have all of mine share the same coop (it's big enough) so I could raise some more youngsters in the small coop. They don't see it that way, unfortunately.

    Hope you have good luck with yours.
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    All I can do is tell you what has worked for us. Usually we just throw them in there and they will work it out in a couple days. If its an extreme case where your bigger birds are killing the little ones , try putting the new ones in at night after dark. That usually works pretty good. Just slip in the coop and put the little ones on the roost with the big ones with as little disturbing them as you can.
  4. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    If I put them in at night, won't there still be problems the next day? I mean, don't they still have to establish a pecking order? Won't they know them as the ones they've been seeing, and still go after them? Also, what to do regarding food? Should I have some starter/grower in the coop also? Do you all expect one or all to be killed?
  5. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 10, 2007
    I have a fenced in yard that their run is in. Double protection from the neighbor dog. I let them all out into the fenced in area. It's bigger and "neutral" ground. The younger pullets have enough room to run away from the older hens when they attack. I also throw some scratch out and the older birds are busy eating and not so worried about the younger ones. Last time I did this, the pullets were a lot younger than what I previously did. It seems they got along a lot better, faster than when I waited till they were older. Maybe not so much as a threat?
    Mix the starter with the laying feed. It'll be ok.
    I never liked the idea of throwing them in to work things out. Chickens can kill each other. I've never lost one to them "working things out".
    I also had a cage in the coop for the youngsters so the older hens can get use to them being in the coop.
    Good Luck!
  6. warmwater

    warmwater Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2009
    My broody hen hatched 5 chicks the end of June. After 8 wks she was done being a Mom...although in the chicken world 8 wks is a long time.

    I kept them in the broody pen (in the coop) at night and I let them free range (in our fenced in 1/2 acre with the older girls. They wanted to roost with older girls but I would always put them in the brooder at night.

    When they were 13 wks old I let them start to roost with the older girls. I started on a Friday so I was home all weekend to get up early and watch. The little ones would not go in the coop until all the older girls were in their spots on the roost, then they would go in and get cozy. I would get up early (crack of dawn) and open the door to their run. Now at 16 wks they are fine...never had any pecking or hurting of the little ones.

    Some of the older ones will make a move toward the little ones when I give them scratch, bread or corn, but they move really fast.....I just give the little ones their own patch of treats.

    I have one more batch of chicks to get adjusted to the coop....they are 8 wks old.....hopefully I will be just as lucky with the way things worked out with my 13 wkers.
  7. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    The EE's are Very scared of the bigger girls and get almost frantic when one comes near. If I start by putting them in to roost at night, what will happen in the morning? Could they be pecked to death by the time I get up and get in there? We have their coop light come on at 4 am because of already shortened days, and my 21 weekers are REALLY close to laying. Advice?
  8. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    I'm no expert (I seem to be using this prelude a lot lately), but have you tried putting the alpha hen in solitary for a while and integrating the remainder of the flock with the EEs? I know that many people here say that if you have a mean chicken high on the totem pole and you put her in jail for a bit when she comes down she's knocked down a couple pegs. If she's the only one hurting the newbies, having the EEs make friends with the rest of the flock might result in a united front against her when you put her back with them.
  9. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I still don't know why putting them in night works. Maybe when they wake up in the morning and see them they think WTH, am I seeing things or did I have a little too much scratch last night.
  10. spammy

    spammy Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Do you have a rooster? My rooster steps in when there is a problem. Not nasty, just clucks some rooster stuff and the hens go about their business.

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