old hens staying in coop...are they protecting it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueheaven, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    336
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    a month ago i introduced 13 new pullets and one roo to my 8 existing hens. i find the 8 hens inside all day. they used to NEVER be in the coop until now.
    they all are getting along well. however, i feel like the old hens are protecting the coop/water/food and not wanting to share.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    456
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Could be. A second feeder and waterer might be a good idea, to try to ensure all get to eat and drink. Hopefully they will adjust, given time.
     
  3. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    336
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    i do see the pullets eating/drinking at times. but the older ones will run them off some of the time. i did have other feeders/water and they did not eat it and/or the hens would guard it too!
     
  4. clayhill

    clayhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    2
    119
    Nov 17, 2008
    Lee County, Arkansas
    I have seen the same issure with mine. I have two older hens with 5 young ones and 3 roos. I think the hens stay in as much as possible to avoid the young roos. When they do decide to go out for feed and water they try to bully the others. Just like us old folks . . . can't keep up, so we just stay out of the way!
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    456
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I think I'd keep the other feeders/waterers plus offer treats and make sure everyone gets some, even if I had to push some out of the way. You can even toss regular feed on the ground as you might a treat.

    It's possible there is a ringleader bully who you could separate for a few days, too, to further shake up the pecking order.
     
  6. dantodd

    dantodd Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    29
    May 16, 2011
    San Carlos, CA
    Perhaps you should move the food and water out in the morning. If they old hens are guarding the food they'll go out with it. If they stay in the coop still you'll have eliminated one potential reason and be that much closer to an answer.
     
  7. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    336
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    can't move food/water.
    i have a HUGE feeder and waterer.
    good idea though.
    i do throw food on grass outside so all can eat when outside when they want.
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    728
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Are any of the new pullets laying? Your older girls may be hiding out in the coop to avoid the new roo. If he is still young he will be un-practiced and worry the poor things to death. Just a thought. As for the feed and water, just give them an extra feeding station. They will use it if they aren't being allowed to eat or drink from the one inside the coop. Good luck...
     
  9. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    336
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    yes, i have a few new girls laying. so fun to be getting more eggs!
     
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    43
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I'd just add additional food and water outside for now. You don't need anything special, just a small pail, large bowl or pan will do. Whatever you have around. It takes time for a flock to meld. As long as they're all eating, drinking and none of them are being attacked to the point of damage, they have time to sort it out themselves.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by