Older hen to a young flock


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 15, 2009
Port St. John,Florida
Good morning all..
I have a small flock of 3 juvinile chickens at the age of 3 months...
1 leghorne roo, 1 BO and 1BR
Yesterday I got a much older hen, already laying, this new hen is very mean, even to the little roo, he RUNS from her. Last night I had to lock up the new hen in the coop in a large dog kennel because she attacked my little BO. Should I have gotten a chick the same age as my young juvies? Or will they eventually get along? I am guessing there is a pecking order within the juvies and the BO is top hen..but my roo is smaller and freaks out around this new hen. Oh what to do ? What to do?
I'd keep her right where she is for a couple of weeks. She should be at the bottom of the pecking order by then.

Next time you add a bird, you might want to consider quarantine.
I do let her out in the yard with the 3 young ones, she goes off on her own, and the 3 juvies stay together. The older one does try to join in but the young ones run away. They are out early in the morning mostly all day the only time they are in the coop is at night, or during the heat of the day.
This site gives good information about adding to your flock, whether one hen or several chickens.


Some people's " Oh, she is so mean" may be another person's "typical pecking order stuff". Chickens establish a pecking order so they can get along with little conflict. Actually establishing the pecking order can be violent but that is how it is done. I am certainly not saying that all fighting is good and that you never have to intervene. I'm saying you need to understand what is going on and make your decision from that. I think Buff Hooligan's site above gives good insite and suggestions.

Was blood drawn? Was a chicken injured? Some chicken's personalities are such that they have a great deal of difficulty accepting their position in the pecking order. Or some are just bullies. That is when it gets out of hand and needs your intervention.

A grown hen will often bully an immature rooster. Once the rooster matures and gains self-confidence, he will take over leadership of the flock, but he has to mature.

Ddawn's idea of separating her for a couple of weeks is not a bad idea, not because she will be taken down in the pecking order since she is the new addition, but to give the others time to mature some more. A month might be better than two weeks for this. Since you already tried to mix them quarantine will do no good, so cage the new hen next to the others where they can see each other but not physically get at each other. Throw some scratch where they all get used to eating next to each other. When you merge them, have a place the young ones can hide when she attacks. She will. She will still be mature enough to be the dominant chicken until the others grow up and she will assert herself. Have additional food and water stations so the dominant one does not feel so territorial about protecting her food and water. Cmom uses a water hose to squirt the attacking hen when she attacks. I haven't tried it, but I certainly think it could help.

Good luck!

PS - I see you posted whileI was typing. I'll post anyway.

Editted because of thick fingers while typing.
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No the little BO was not injured, I moved in to intervene when the older started to peck and pull feathers out of the back of BO's neck. I flung the door open and started to yell and she stopped and allowed me to pick her up and cage her. The older hen came from the farm and Ranch feed store and was looks to me terrorizes there cuz she has a naked rear-end and her under neck feathers are gone. I can't tell if she is trying to terrorize the others because of what happened to her there. I stayed out and watched them in the coop fer about an hour and a half last nite to see what was going to happen. My coop is a small shanty coop, it is 8x10, but not as extravant as the ones I have seen on here. The chicks seem to feel safe tho. I don't really have a place to quaratine the older hen, but put her in a large dog kennel at nite. I will check out the site you have recommended. Thanks

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