please help!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DawnaW, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. DawnaW

    DawnaW Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Greenfield, OH
    Okay. I have a problem. I got a new roo, a silkie. He is about the same size as our hens (golden comets and black sex link). We have five hens and they are great with us humans, however they are being very mean to the new roo. They are cornering him and pecking him while he cowers and cries. I don't know what to do. I know that they have to set a new pecking order, and with him being a little younger and looking different I new that they would single him out. I am now becoming concerned for his safety. We have been trying to protect him the best we can but it is not possible for us to be in there with them all day. Is this normal? I have never before brought in a new chicken to a brood before and I had thought that this would not be as bad.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Integrating a single bird into an established flock can be difficult. What sort of integration process have you used? Did you just put him straight in with your existing birds?
     
  3. Orps

    Orps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like what Ol Grey Mare said. You have to intergrated him into the flock. Very rarely can you just put one in and not have existing birds go all territorial.
     
  4. DawnaW

    DawnaW Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Greenfield, OH
    no. i put him in the coop for the first day in a seperate cage. Then after the hens had roosted I put him up on the roost with them. They bullied him down and so i let him sleep on the floor (which he semed fine with because he didnt go to the open roost) The next day wasnt too terrible The kids and I spent a good amount of time in the run giving them all treats and petting them all. However the hens avoided him like crazy and when he woiuld venture near them he got pecked. That night after they roosted I put him on the roost again and he stayed there for a good 4-5 hours then I saw he had opted for the floor again. now today my husband ( I am at work) told me that they are cornering him and attacking.
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    One day is really not long enough for the "see but don't touch" approach. What the hens are doing is pretty normal, but it can quickly get out of hand. Are you seeing any actual injury (ie bleeding)? Is he a silkie with really full face/head feathering? Depending on how heavily feathered those areas are he can be at an added disadvantage in that his vision can be impaired and he is an even easier target for the girls' attacks.
     
  6. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2014
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    Sounds pretty chicken-normal to me. Change is bad in chickenville. Introducing a single to an established flock is usually always a recipe for disaster. There is strength in numbers, introducing in at least pairs, if not triplets+, is the best method to integrate flocks. This way the newcomers/outsiders have moral/social/physical support of their own flockmates to assist with the transition into the larger, established pecking order.

    Since you have a single, your best bet might be to artificially inflate his flock by taking one or two of your least-feisty hens and buddying them up with your roo. They will be less likely to gang-beat your roo due to the stress/loss of social reinforcement of being separated from your other three. Once this new clique has time (maybe 4-9 days) to familiarize/normalize/establish their own pecking order, you can try integrating the two now more-equal groups again. Still observe/take action as necessary, but realize there will be some mayhem as a new order is established, but it should resolve itself in time.
     
  7. DawnaW

    DawnaW Out Of The Brooder

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    I just feel so bad for him/. I didnt think about the impaired vision, he does have a pretty full mop on his head :)
    I will try seperating him with the weaker hens. I appreciate the suggestion, But they will have to all sleep together, we have only one coop.


    on a side note, i was very proud of my daughter (age 7) when she commented that it wasnt nice of the hens to pick on him just because he looked different.
     
  8. Orps

    Orps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in the process of integrating 4 silkie chick into a flock since they are FINALLY finished with their quarantine. Don't you hate quarantine. It's long but better safe than sorry. Right?!! Anyway, I just put the cage they are quarantine in the yard so the exisiting flock can see them but can touch. Did that for a couple of days. Yesterday was the first day I have them roam in the same yard. So far so good. It will be a couple more days before I try to put the newcomers in their coop.
     
  9. DawnaW

    DawnaW Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Greenfield, OH
    It would just be nice if my work would allow me a paid leave of absence so I could be there to make sure everyone got along.[​IMG]
     
  10. fluffychooks

    fluffychooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2014
    you realise that on the weekend u could put a mesh barrier in the halfway line of the coop and that would work i guess and just because i am 10 doesn't mean I have no idea what i am talking about I have 15 chickens of my own 2 deal with
     

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