Questions about My Flock Problems

Woytgirl

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
369
339
167
Hi everyone!
I have a couple questions.
Ok, I was dreaming of adding some new chicks to my flock this spring. (Chicken math happens.)
Anyway, I’ll have to explain the situation.
So, I started out with 8 chicks a couple years ago, of all different breeds. One died due to pasty butt, when I didn’t know how to treat it. When the others grew up, one was a rooster, so we gave him away. There were no problems at this point. Then after we got our puppy, one of the hens started picking on the lowest hen, Badger. The year after that, we got 6 chicks of different breeds. The hens were mean to the chicks when we were introducing them, except for my 2 favorite docile hens. 2 chicks grew up to be roosters, and we gave them away, there wasn’t enough hens for them, and they also picked on Badger. Now, the EE and some of the hens pick on Badger, but it’s been less frequent. I have the 9 hens in an 8” run attached to the coop. I let them freerange sometimes, but we have a hunting dog. I’m debating getting rid of the mean hens and getting new chicks, but worried that maybe new chicks would just cause more problems.
 
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Woytgirl

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
369
339
167
My flock now consists of:
Top hen: Buff Orpington, Buttercup. She’s pretty docile. She doesn’t bother Badger.
Next: Reese, the mean EE.
Next: Fluffy, a docile EE.
Next: Faustina, a mean GLW.
Next: Carmel, a mean GLW.
Lowest: Badger, a GLW.
Of the new batch we have:
Cherry: a mean Cherry Egger but she’s the best layer.
Cleopatra: a barnevelder, she’s docile.
Alex: she’s a mean SLW.
All the new ones are in the middle of the pecking order.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,658
8,457
626
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
First question would be do you have sufficient room for more chickens?
If you croud chickens, the problems you describe and more will worsen.
There is always problems introducing new chickens to an existing flock.
I find that around 12 chickens is the best balance for me. Just the right amount of work for me and expense of feed, just the right amount of enjoyment as offset.
But my coop is peaceful, i get just enough eggs, i have a great rooster and if i need to replace lost hens, i like to hatch under a broody as she intrigates the new ones seamlessly to the flock.
 

Woytgirl

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
369
339
167
First question would be do you have sufficient room for more chickens?
If you croud chickens, the problems you describe and more will worsen.
There is always problems introducing new chickens to an existing flock.
I find that around 12 chickens is the best balance for me. Just the right amount of work for me and expense of feed, just the right amount of enjoyment as offset.
But my coop is peaceful, i get just enough eggs, i have a great rooster and if i need to replace lost hens, i like to hatch under a broody as she intrigates the new ones seamlessly to the flock.
I don’t currently have any space, but I was thinking I’d get rid of the mean ones, and then get some new chicks, with the freed up space. I’d love hatching with a broody, but I’d need a separate coop. I tried to hatch with a broody last year, (when we still had the 2 roosters) and I think they killed and ate the chick, I never found it.
 

Justso

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 30, 2015
1,329
2,202
382
Chicagoland DuPage Co
My Coop
My Coop
How large is your hen house and your run? Chickens will always be mean, that's just what they do is form a pecking order. You might be trading out your "mean hens" and developing new ones. if you do have plenty of space, you might do well by switching out your flock for something more docile like orpingtons. Someone else may appreciate your started birds. Where are you located?
 

Woytgirl

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
369
339
167
Yes, I know they always have a pecking order. But Badger almost never has feathers on her back, and she’s always scraggly. I love Orpingtons, my Orpington is really sweet. I need to free up more space, once I do, I’ll probably get some orpingtons or another docile breed.
 

Woytgirl

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
369
339
167
Cochins are very docile I hear, also if you can make their run bigger that helps. More free range time would probably help allot to if you figure out a way for your dog to not go after them.
Really? I’ll consider adding them as a possible breed then once I have more space. My dog, unfortunately, will probably never not try to kill them.
 

Timothy Menezes

Songster
Nov 27, 2017
548
677
201
Monterey, California
More space per bird helps with aggression, if enlarging the run isn't possible, going with bantams is a popular choice. Cochins are one of the most docile both in standard size and bantam.

Meyers Hatchery has a nice selection of them, Murry McMurry does as well. Most hatchery's want to sell bantams unsexed as "straight run". I am told Meyers will sex them for you so you aren't having to rehome a bunch of roosters.
 

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