Pecking Order Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Abubakar45, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Abubakar45

    Abubakar45 In the Brooder

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    I've had 3 normally laying rhode island red hens, and i just added 2 barred rocks and 1 buff orphington. Obviously, they started pecking each other, mainly the rhode island reds (Hot Sauce, Princess Carolyn, and Lady Peckinpaw) were the ones doing the pecking. So when are they going to finish establishing their new pecking order and settle down. Also when can i expect eggs again? And lastly, im looking to breed with a rooster or two, would that quicken the pecking order thing up?
     
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  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    Doesn't sound like you quarantined the new birds from your original 3? Quarantine is to prevent possible disease being transmitted to your original birds. Keep a close eye on their health, separate any that show signs of illness.
    When you do integrate the new birds to your flock, it's best to use the See but no Touch method ... Put the new ones in a sectioned off part of your coop with food & water but with a wire barrier, safe from being pecked on by the "flock".
    Since you have only 6, one Roo should do but again he should be quarantined prior to being introduced to the girls.

    Your RIR are probably laying, how old are the 2BR/1BO?
    Where are you located? You may want to update your profile with your location, helps us knowing your time zone, weather conditions & possible predator situations.
     
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  3. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Free Ranging

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    Adding new chickens will change the entire flock dynamic and they have to start from scratch trying to decide who belongs where, and the top hen will likely be the most aggressive to keep her place. The easiest transition occurs when you use the See But Don’t Touch method. That's keeping them separated with some sort of fencing for a week or 2, so they can still see each other without being able to cause damage. Putting feeders on each side of the barrier will also help them get used to eating together too. Free range time together also helps because there's lots of room to run away.

    Skipping the separation step could prolong the pecking and even enable fighting to continue until someone is terribly injured. Throwing unfamiliar chickens in together is more than just a pecking order establishment, it can be a war. These are intruders that are not welcome and are a threat to their food supply and home, and the existing birds will try to do whatever it takes to get rid of the intruders. An injured bird MUST be separated right away because the sight of blood can cause a frenzy of pecking, even by her friends, and could easily lead to death. After being introduced properly, there still may be some pecking, but that's normal.
    Some people have added chickens without too much concern, but in your case, the original RIR are typically more dominant than the docile BR and BO, and it's not in newbies' favor.

    There's many reasons chickens stop laying: less daylight, predator invasion, parasites or illness, a change in surroundings, new location or routine as well as the stress of fighting a war. Separate your groups of birds, let them get used to each other peacefully, and they'll start laying again.

    A rooster will not quicken the process.
     
  4. Anna Ranieri

    Anna Ranieri Crowing

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    My RIR hybrid hss as zero tolerance when it comes to the rest of my flocks - she chases all bar my head hen and my two drakes, and does so daily. She gets antsy with the others real easy but yet with us humans she is the softest most loving you could ever wish for. My biggest surprise though is how she is with her flock sister, they used to be so close, were always together, did everything together, even layer their first eggs together. Once she her sister was I'll, I had to let her in with her sister whom I had inside for a time while she recovered from her illness, this was because she got so upset at being separated from her flock sister but about a week or so into their laying she just turned and now she chases her flock sister daily. There sometimes are times when she will sit with her flock sister for short periods but doesn't happen very often. It is sad for me because they used to be so close but if you were to see how they are now you'd find it hard to believe they ever were.
     
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  5. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Free Ranging

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    I have no idea why best friends can turn on each other like that. I also had 2 girls (EE and BO) that were best buds, inseparable! And then one day, for no apparent reason the EE just started attacking poor BO repeatedly... chasing, pecking, jumping on her. So I separated Miss Bully for a few days and when she came back she acted like nothing ever happened. But that cycle repeated about 2 more times later on. Strange.
     
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  6. Anna Ranieri

    Anna Ranieri Crowing

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    Reminds me of kids in a playground, one minute their besties next they are at war! I'm new to poultry and only started in may 2018 but I've come to realise pecking order will never stop, they'll always be someone vying for top position and one thing I've noticed the most is that as soon as one of the underlings gets a bit confident they'll get picked on relentlessly. My BO is the youngest and gets it all the time. She's POL at the moment, goodness knows what it will be like when she starts laying, the others already fight over the nest box even though there is more than one they all want to use the sane one.
    Recently she plucked up the courage to jump up on a ledge where all the others like to sit, and although the others weren't sitting on there at the time, they went mad, jumped up, pushed her off then chased her around the garden! Needless to say she hasn't been up there since. The only one who doesn't pick on her, nor ever has, is the head hen. I think it's because the head hen is my BO's mum. She isn't her natural mum though and they are different breeds but she hatched and raised her. The head hen is very independent and doesn't stand much from the others but will let her daughter get away with everything, my BO can (And does) steal her food/ treats and the alpha lets her get away with it but if any if the others tried to take anything which is hers she won't stand for it. I hope this doesn't change too, she was a great mum raising her and although she doesn't intervene when the others pick on her, when the BO runs to her for cover the others back off. They still sleep together too which I'm so thankful for because none of the others would ever let her sleep with them. So hopefully their mum/daughter bond will stay strong enough for this to never change.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Red Birds have a hard time being nice to Birds of another colour. Birds of a feather flock together. RIR are more aggressive than many other breeds. I used to have some and never will again.
     
  8. Anna Ranieri

    Anna Ranieri Crowing

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    I've often wondered if it's because she's the smallest out of all my birds and maybe feels the need to constantly establish herself, but from what I'm reading it's to do with the breed.
    Strange though she is so soft and loving towards us and she's great with my grandson too. She sits on my lap daily and follows me around like a puppy dog, I love her to pieces and would never part with her. My head hen is a Light Sussex she has a wonderful temperament and only berates the others if they step out of line. Which breeds do you prefer?
     
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  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I got out of standard breeds. I really like my Silkies. Excellent little Docile Chickens.
     
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  10. Abubakar45

    Abubakar45 In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the info, but its 10:30 am and i already let them spend the night together, is it too late to separate them? Also take a look at the crappy diagram attached, they both need access to the coop, but there is only one door. Should i make another before splitting it down the middle? Should they even be in the same at night? The dotted lines are where im thinking to separate, you advice?
     

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