Olive Egger being a jerk!

HennyTerri83

Chirping
May 30, 2021
54
110
86
Hi!
So I’ve now sent all my roosters back to the farm from which they came - sigh - and was left with 3 ten week old olive Eggers. I’m trying to get them accustomed to my 6 week old golden laced and barred rocks, and it’s...hairy. I have the BR and GLW within the run but confined to a puppy play pen with a cover (they jump out - OE jump in - DANGEROUS!!!)

anyway. Since we got rid of the roosters, one of the pullets has been a super jerk. She doesn’t just peck or chase the ‘teenagers’, she BITES them. And like, doesn’t let go. I have to keep the lid on the play pen the entire time they’re in there now. I thought the pen would give them a chance to meet and greet without contact - but Rhubard is pecking them through it and chasing them around it.
How long (yes I know all chickens are different) until I can expect they can tolerate each other?! I have two baby EE and I’m not looking forward to repeating this process 🤦🏻‍♀️
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
105,250
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SW Michigan
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I have the BR and GLW within the run but confined to a puppy play pen with a cover (they jump out - OE jump in - DANGEROUS!!!)
Yes, playpen needs to be secure from egress.
And youngsters should be in there 24/7 for a couple weeks before allowing mingling with older birds.

Here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:

It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
41,370
346,203
1,692
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hi!
So I’ve now sent all my roosters back to the farm from which they came - sigh - and was left with 3 ten week old olive Eggers. I’m trying to get them accustomed to my 6 week old golden laced and barred rocks, and it’s...hairy. I have the BR and GLW within the run but confined to a puppy play pen with a cover (they jump out - OE jump in - DANGEROUS!!!)

anyway. Since we got rid of the roosters, one of the pullets has been a super jerk. She doesn’t just peck or chase the ‘teenagers’, she BITES them. And like, doesn’t let go. I have to keep the lid on the play pen the entire time they’re in there now. I thought the pen would give them a chance to meet and greet without contact - but Rhubard is pecking them through it and chasing them around it.
How long (yes I know all chickens are different) until I can expect they can tolerate each other?! I have two baby EE and I’m not looking forward to repeating this process 🤦🏻‍♀️
How long have the two groups been exposed to each other?
The black one is looking very much like a cockerel. The biting behavior would be expected from a young cockerel too. They don't know what they are doing and are reacting simply on instinct.
When you do the 'look don't touch' part of the integration, they should be completely contained so no one can get in OR out. I'd put some food and water in for the GLWs and PBRs. Give them at least two weeks.
I would also add more things to perch on and some things to hide behind in the run for when you allow the littles out. I would let them out first to explore the area before letting out the bigs. Then monitor to ensure there is no real aggression (blood drawn or cornering and attacking one of the young ones).
The more clutter in the run, the better.
 

HennyTerri83

Chirping
May 30, 2021
54
110
86
Yes, playpen needs to be secure from egress.
And youngsters should be in there 24/7 for a couple weeks before allowing mingling with older birds.

Here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:

It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
The k you for this! Most is already in place. Stumps and pallets for when they’re ‘free’, but right now the four teenagers sleep in a big stock tank in the garage (scratching up WAY too much dust in my house) and spend a good chunk of the day in the run (confined). One escaped the other day which is why I know rhubarb is biting. Ugh. So I really can’t keep them in there 24/7. Bedtime is definitely separate.
Wow I’m already not looking forward to repeating this process again. I have 2 two week old EE that will need this intro. I’ll start as soon as they’re big enough not to fit through the bars of the pen!!! EEEK!!! And UGH!! 🤦🏻‍♀️ but I have four watering cups along a PVC pipe - 2 feeder (and one grit) station. Big four foot, 3” pipes. There’s really nothing to fight about just yet, as the teenagers are confined. Just concerned. Thanks again.
 

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