Reintegration Problems. Please help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kmb383, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. kmb383

    kmb383 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Upstate New York
    I'm having trouble reintegrating a bird, Molly, who was separated after an injury. The other 8 girls and silkie roo won't accept her again.

    The backstory: Molly was injured by several months ago and her flockmates pecked her injury until I got home from work. I didn't think she'd live because it was so deep. I separated her to let her fully heal. She is one of my originals who spent her first year with her 3 other Polish sisters. They had never had a rooster until the second year. The second year, I got 7 more various breed chickens (EE, buff, red star, silkies, Cochin). When she was injured, the new girls were still young. One turned out to be a roo. He's a cool dude but the original Polish girls don't care for him much. Anyway, Molly is an extremely small Polish and afraid of the rooster.

    I have had Molly in a small coop right next to the regular coop so everyone can see and be near each other. They are still not accepting her. They chase after her and try to kill her when I put them together. It's really just her original Polish sisters, the red star and the roo who are doing it. I've put the silkies and Cochin in the small coop with her as a short trial to see how they get along and no problem.

    Any further advise on how to get these birds to get along? I can't leave her alone on her own over winter - she'll freeze to death on our many double negative digit nights without a snuggle buddy. I really don't want a chicken coop in my basement!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    You likely have some that are most aggressive to the outcast. Take 3 or so of them out of the group and put the outcast on the roost at night. In the morning the bullies will be missing.
    If at all possible, free range them.
    After about 3 days, add one back and so forth.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    CC's idea is sound......chicken juggling!
    Separate overly aggressive birds, then put them back in after the rest are established.
    Gonna take some trial and error, might be hard to do if you work full time as some observation is in order..

    So you have 10 birds total?
    What are all their ages?
    How big are your coops in feet by feet?

    In case you haven't already:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Also, take a good look at your run. Is it just an open area with all the birds on the ground? Set up some roosts in the run, lean up some pallets against a wall. Have a pallet up on saw horses or cement blocks so that birds can get under it and on top of it. Your run will look more cluttered, but will actually have more useable space. Do make sure that each hideout is not a trap with two exits

    Have multiple feed stations and water spots, and set them up so that while feeding or eating there, they are out of sight of the other feed station.

    So many times when a bird is being picked on, there is no other place for the bird to go. If none of the ideas work, then you need to cull birds for peace in the coop. Space is a real issue, measure and check how much space your really have. Often times, I have found the removal of an aggressive bird can give peace to my whole flock.


    Mrs K
     
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  5. kmb383

    kmb383 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Upstate New York
    Thanks for the replies! My coop is 4x8 and the run is a bit bigger. They free-range regularly. Even when free-ranging, the red star chases Molly away. There will be no culling in this flock! I am going to try separating the aggressors next as suggested and add more boredom busters to their run. That might be a good start. I will update next week on the progress!
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck, it might work, but that is pretty small for as many birds you have. Don't fall into the trap thinking that free ranging can make up for a too small coop. In the winter they spend 14-16 hours in the coop. That is a long time to be crowded. I know you want them all to get along, but sometimes that does not work.

    Mrs k
     
  7. kmb383

    kmb383 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
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    Thanks for the replies again! The Red Star, Ginger, had to wear pinless chicken peepers for several weeks to stop the aggression but since has not been a problem. I've taken them off without problem. She sometimes pecks Molly but not in a horribly aggressive way. Molly has been living with the rest of the flock for several weeks now without too much problem. She is still picked on often but not being injured. I'm working now to get her to sleep on the roost again with the others. She gets afraid + sleeps in a corner or nestbox after I've done the after dark checkin. I'd like her to sleep on the roost but I'm ok with this as long as she is not hurt and living with the flock. It's been such a long road to get this chicken drama straightening out!
     

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