Pecking in line

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cope2013, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. Cope2013

    Cope2013 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2014
    I have 10 6month old hens I've raised since babies, added 5 more 2month olds to the bunch and a 2month old rooster this morning. How long does the chasing/pecking last? Just out of curiosity, everytime they go for food they get pecked back into a different corner. When the other hens are outside they get a few bites but is there any special feeding that needs to be done until their used to each other?

  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Songster

    Sep 27, 2014
    Well this could last days,even weeks.It really depends on the birds,but if
    they don't like them it could last forever.

    Your still wondering about feeding.
    Well,you could spread the food on the ground(everywhere),and
    on the feeding.
    Is the rooster defending his self,are any of them?
  3. Cope2013

    Cope2013 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2014
    They are the same breed chickens also, the rooster is a little bigger in size and they pick at him a little but he's found a way around them they don't seem to hurt him. The small hens get to a corner and gather around but the bigger hens chase them and peck, it seems to hurt them a little when they pull. Maybe they are just showing a little dominance
  4. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    I put the new birds in a separate area where the older girls could see but not touch. Then, I free ranged them together. Now, they will all go into the coop and roost together with no problems. I have 3 hens that are almost 2 years old, and the others were born in June of this year. They are all the same size, and some of the younger ones are even larger than the older hens (Cochins and Brahmas). There is some squabbling at roosting time, but they seem to be getting along just fine otherwise. I'd see about letting them mingle when you free range, but letting them roost or go to coop separately, if you can. When they go peacefully together, integration has been successful.
  5. Cope2013

    Cope2013 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2014
    Thanks for the replies! The separation with only seeing sounds like it would be a great option but due to limited space I'm not sure how I could manage it. Also due to neighbors dogs we can't let them free range over the land so we have a fairly big run, I let the hens go into the run amd threw treats but they were more interested in the newcomers, I'm hoping by the time I get home they will be calmed down for roost to give the little hens a rest
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Provide multiple feed/water stations and places for the new birds to hide out of 'line of sight' and/or up and away from the existing birds.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:

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