Pecking Order help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shelbyw, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. shelbyw

    shelbyw Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    6
    66
    Jul 1, 2015
    Monroe, Georgia
    I would like some help with how I should re introduce my new chickens to my two hens. I took the newbies out a couple days ago because it got way out of hand to the point of where my hens made on of my pullets bleed really bad. I didn't want to leave the other pullet in there by its self, so they are in a separated area together. I had an old dog crate in the chicken pen a couple weeks ago to see if the hens would get used to the pullets and when they did, I let the pullets out. I joined them in the pen with my hens and they did good for a few days. I checked every hour just to make sure there was no blood, but when I went up there a couple days ago I noticed my EE was bleeding on her tail. She is healing up now and she is looking much better now, but how should I introduce them to each other again? I do occasionally let my hens free range but I don't want to let the pullets experience that yet until they are older.
     
  2. cutechick53

    cutechick53 Chillin' With My Peeps

    515
    19
    118
    Apr 13, 2013
    Arizona
    I haven't had a case like this, but I have heard it is best to introduce new hens to an existing flocj at night, and never alone/by themselves, always in a group. That's all I know, hope this helps!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    921
    156
    151
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Free ranging is the best way to introduce new hens to a flock, as the new girls have plenty of space to run away if they are challenged.

    Try letting the new girls free range with your existing flock for a couple of hours before 'bedtime' - that way they will learn to get along for a short while, then all head in to their appropriate sleeping areas. Don't worry about the new girls - they know where they sleep now (in the separate crate) so they will head there in the night. After a few days of doing this you may find that the new girls follow the other birds into the main coop, and are accepted (on a lower rung, or in a bizarre sleeping place) - let them do it. It will happen, and there will be a bit of pecking (and possibly blood) in the process, but it will take time. As long as there is not too much pecking or blood then you can let them get on with it.

    The expression "pecking order" comes from the avian world, and for very good reason - all chickens peck at others to remind them of their place in the social standing throughout their lives. As each bird learns its place in the flock the pecking decreases, but it will always exist to a certain extent, as social rankings are fluid and change according to the situation.

    All the best to you and your flock. [​IMG]
     
  4. shelbyw

    shelbyw Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    6
    66
    Jul 1, 2015
    Monroe, Georgia
    Thanks :) I will try this out once my EE has the rest of her feathers back! I am still new to the whole introducing newbies in a chicken flock. Thanks!
     
  5. shelbyw

    shelbyw Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    6
    66
    Jul 1, 2015
    Monroe, Georgia
    I have successfully integrated my newbies in with my girls!! I did free range and I also changed up the coop a little bit and I also kept the newbies in a crate for a couple weeks so they would get used to each other again. :) I am still seeing some pecking order going on, but other than that, they are all pretty much getting along. I still have to feed them on separate sides of the coop, but they are not picking on each other when they eat anymore which is good :) I think the re integration has worked! thank you.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,747
    6,880
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Good update....and you learned a bunch I bet. Nest time will be easier.
    Pecking order will always be there, sometimes more aggressive than others.
    Multiple feed/water stations always helps ease territorial stresses.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by