Pecking order question.....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by catsmithpuddin, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. catsmithpuddin

    catsmithpuddin Songster

    Dec 19, 2009
    haughton louisiana
    We pretty much doubled our flock in the last 3 days. We are up to 10 total. We expanded the coop/run and got newbies. Alot for the original group to handle I guess. Anyway.....the pecking order finding ritual is running its course I guess.

    The question is, we have two groups now that do not mix, at all. The newbies (greasers) will not let the (socs) into the coop until dark and one of the greasers has taken over the favorite laying box and has set up camp. She is broody and sitting on nothing. Pony boy (guinee roo) is trying to take over the new girls and the new boy is not caring about anything but meal time.

    I think PonyBoy is gonna have to go cause he went from timid to wanting to rumble in no time.

    As you can tell I am even confused trying to figure out what is going on in there and want everybody to just get along. How long does this usually take?

    Sorry for all the outsiders references, my daughter has been reading the book and we have been talking bout it alot. One of the best books I ever read!
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The pecking order is a natural Chicken thing. It simply has to run its course; the more you futz with it, the longer it takes. As long as there is no bloodshed (just squawking, chasing, feather pulling, chest-bumping, etc.) let it be.

    It is REALLY rough on us people, but it's the Chicken way. [​IMG]

    When I integrate newbies into the main flock, I do it with a segregation/integration coop and pen. Usually it's either next to the regular pen, or inside it, with its own temporary pen and small coop, or a doghouse or something like that. Garden stakes and chicken wire temporary fence around it so the newbies have their own space, their own feeder and waterer. They stay there for two weeks.

    During that time, everybody gets to see, hear, and do the chest bump thing through the fence, but nobody can get hurt. After the two weeks, I take down the temporary fence and let them all mingle. By then, they're not strangers to each other. There is still some pecking order stuff, but it's much diminished.

    Good luck!
  3. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    Imagine if a new family showed up at your door and settled in to live at your house. It would take more than 3 days for all of you to work out how to live together peacefully.

    It's impossible to say how long it will take your flock to settle down because there are just so many different factors. Be sure that the combined flock has enough room (this is key) and enough roosting space. It also might help to set out one or more additional feeding stations just in case some of the birds try to hoard the feeder and keep the others away from it. Setting up a couple of "bully baffles" in the run might help, too. They can be anything vertical, even an old box. The idea is that a chicken being harassed can get out of sight behind the baffle.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: