Reintegration by supervised visits ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunflour, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good head hens will intervene in squabbles between subordinates...just like a good rooster would.
    Patient repetition of co-mingling can work...have done it with chick groups.
     
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  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    1 month update:

    Penny is still in the dog crate. Attempts at reintroduction have been foiled by Lillie - low in the pecking order, but the only one posing a problem. Added a second small dog crate to the run today and placed Lillie - AKA bully BO in that crate. Let Penny out and she and my 2 BR hens got along fine - only let them visit for about 30 minutes with mealie worms and seeds to scavenge.

    Will continue to shut up the bully in the afternoon visitation times until I am sure Penny and BR's are getting well along and Lillie shows no animosity towards her.
     
  3. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    sunflour, This update is fascinating to me. The low Lillie BO was the problem? Thank you so much for being so gracious in your reply to my suggestions. I shared my suggestions without looking to the left and realizing that this isn't your first rodeo. Me thinks I'm too "Talk-A-Lot on BYC. I'm an animal behaviorist/trainer by trade so I tend to take the clinical textbook approaches. I'm quite intrigued as to how this plays out. That said, A squirt bottle is my friend and a great training tool for me to discourage unwanted or aggressive behaviors . Thank you for posting the updates.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Thanks for your interest.

    This is my first rodeo [​IMG] . I think you mean by "looking to the left" you mean my "badges and title" ? You should explore the title meanings = number of posts. But the badges are quite an honor to receive. I joined Jan 2013 to access help with plans for coop building and raising my own flock. I started with 6 baby chicks March 2013 and have suffered no adversities until this year. Lost 1 BO in March and 1 BR while Penny was in sick bay. So, this is my first experience at reintegration and all input is greatly appreciated.

    Honestly, didn't expect much attention to this thread. But have read all past threads and articles that I can find on reintegrating a recovered hen back to their flock and all seem to just stop without any comments on success or failures. Most resources on introduction apply to new chickens, multiple new ones, and require more space than us small flock owners have available. So decided to document this experience and once resolved, may do a member article about it.

    You're an Animal Behaviorist/Trainer [​IMG]. IMO animal behavior is fascinating. Would love to be able to train my hens, but instead they have me trained [​IMG].

    Will get a water spray bottle ready - have used a tin of marbles early on to stop aggression. It works to stop conflicts, bit it effects all flock members. And a spirt of water should only get the bad gals attention. Thanks for the tip.
     
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  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    @Mutt Farm , Penny asked me to thank you so much for the squirt bottle advice, it's magic. With Bully locked up, let Penny out with the 2 BR's for over 30 minutes. Road Runner, BR, tried twice to start something and one squirt each time settled her down IMMEDIATELY…after that, the 3 of them were inches apart enjoying mealie worms and seed treats...[​IMG]

    My current plan is to continue with los tres amigas until there's no discord and then try letting Lillie AKA Bullie join the afternoon visitations.

    Again, thanks so much for your interest and input.
     
  6. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well yes! Those badges are an honor! I was like [​IMG] for even adding my 2 cents.
    I think an article on integrating or re-integrating an adult(s) would be quite helpful. I noticed over the summer so many people that had isolated a bird for illness/injury or gotten a new adult were having an awful time. There wasn't much out there. Like you said, the thread just seemed to stop.
    I'm pretty obsessed with understanding and studying animal behavior and training. It is quite fascinating to me. I'm fortunate to have been able to work at something I love. I'm semi-retired now, which is I was able to get my own chickens. I train service dogs to help with daily tasks for folks in wheelchairs and do private training for dog behavior issues. I love what I do.
    I was intrigued that Lillie, the subordinate BO, breed known for being docile, was the problem! [​IMG] I truly hope you keep the updates coming.
    Trick to the squirt bottle is surprise and distance. Stealth squirt rather than run up and squirt. If they are met with an unpleasant consequence out of nowhere, "Every time I chase, charge, peck X it rains like heck in my face", they stop.
    You can train your chickens! Check this out! I went to 2 of her seminars. Crazy fun stuff right here!

    http://drsophiayin.com/videos/entry/sophias_trained_chickens
    Thank you again.
     
  7. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh my! TY! I hadn't seen your reply before I reposted. I'm so glad Penny was kickin it with her besties! [​IMG]
     
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Thanks for link. I have watched other videos on training chickens, but these rise to the top. Honestly, like most newbies, I knew raising chickens would be fun, but never imagined the individual personalities that we see. Have researched poultry behavior, personality and training, but there is a paucity of information on line. Most info is directed toward manipulation for commercial interests.

    Training service dogs is a valuable gift to so many in need.

    Lillie was a hatchery chick (from same source as her fellow flock members) bought as a BO. But I have always thought she is a mix - not sure what- but she is definitely a unique BO or other genes are in there. In 2.5 years she has never gone broody - unbelievable for a BO. When they were teenagers establishing the pecking order, she was definitely the lowest gal. DH and I felt sorry for the underdog and would make sure she got some treats separately. She learned quite young to run into the coop, stand at the window to get unopposed rewards. Although low in the order, she is the boldest in accepting and exploring new things. She is fearless in human interactions, demands attention, is the most verbal hen and was my previous #1 BR's best friend (unless treats were around)- all have been surprising for her ranking, I think.

    I squirted RR from about 5-6 feet away, but I do think she knew it was me, will try to be more "stealth".

    Duh, what does "TY" mean?[​IMG]
     
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to horn in on your conversation, but animal behavior fascinates me too. I've encountered many dogs whom I jokingly refer to as "nervous, middle management" types. If I may anthropomorphize a bit, they seem very concerned with their place in the pack and often have exaggerated responses to perceived challenges from others. Kinda like that guy in the office that's always watching out to make sure nobody one-ups him. A lot of owners mistake this dog as the most dominant because it's often involved in scuffles and skirmishes, many time seemingly coming out on top. Meanwhile, the truly dominant dog doesn't need to assert their position in the pack and if it does it does so much more subtly and eloquently such that the owners don't even realize what's happened.

    What does this have to do with chickens? I observe the same behavior in my hens. I have a very clearly dominant hen. She very rarely engages in displays of dominant behaviors. She doesn't have to. Every hen defers to her. When they were young and when I introduced new birds she did, but it was very short-lived and doesn't happen much now. Most of the squabbling in my coop now is between the "middle management" hens. That's where the pecking order is more in flux and there is more jockeying for better position and where I see the most dominance displays. When I added two hens (bantams) it was from these birds that they got the most beatings.
     
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dr. Yin was a great presenter! So glad I got to see her before she passed away. But if you want to see some amazing chicken training, attend Bob Bailey's Chicken Camp. I've never been, but know some who have and it is fascinating stuff. http://behaviormatters.com/workshops/
    Terry Ryan is also doing some Chicken Camps too, I believe.
     

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