Reintroduction's a disaster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by savingpurple, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I had high hopes today, well all week, that today would make a difference in my chicken world.

    I was very wrong!!! I am sad, and depressed at the thought of what's next!

    I had Ms Pissy, a 16 week old white leghorn, in solitary confinement for a week. Put her back out in the coop, while my other chickens were in the outdoor run. About 15 minutes after they seen each other, heard each other, I opened the pop door. Ms Pissy ran out, looked around, and ran up to one of my NHR and grabbed her wattle and shook. The other screamed, and got away. Then Ms Pissy ran to another and pecked her a few times in the head right near the eye. The other leghorn ran up as to say, "no way" but she pecked her, and now she backed down. Another NHR ran up along side the leghorn, and they both stood in a face off, with Ms Pissy, and she is quick, and just mean, as she pecked them both a good one. They backed down,and ran away.

    Okay, I ran up to the house, and grabbed my $12 flock block, I was hoping not to have to use, at that price. But took it out, and they loved it. BUT...oh yes, there's more....

    The white leghorn, named purple butt, is now joining in on terrorizing the others. I thought the flock block was suppose to help? Ms Pissy is just giving herself a good long dust bath, and is oblivious to this block, or the change of order. So now all of my NHR are afraid of both hens.

    This has become a nightmare for me. I sure wish I had a 2nd coop. I would just put Ms Pissy, and purple butt in their own little world, and harmony would be in my chciken world again. Maybe Ms Pissy and purple butt just spent too much time isolated together while they healed that they can never be intagrated into another group. They all spent weeks together though, before the coop. Pecking order should have been established by the then???

    I don't have the funds to build a 2nd coop, but any suggestions would be helpful. I am afraid now the egg laying will stop, and this just depresses me. I like having chickens but this is too much drama. What can I do???

    The nearest place to have a chicken, for lack of the proper word, processed, is about an hour away. It hurts to think this is where I am at in my thinking. Ms. Pissy is so gentle with me, and my kids. She just lets me hold her, and pet her comb, wattles, and loves her back petted.

    Sorry so long, but just hate to see my NHR in fear all the time, and in pain from outbursts of constant atttacks. Would love to keep both Leghorns, IF I had a solution to keep them by themselves.
  2. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Have you tried taking her out there at night to join the flock? Or perhaps confining her and Purple Butt to a large dog crate in the run that allows the chickens to see and hear eachother, but not attack?
  3. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Stick a free ad on Craigslist. Small coops are no place for drama. Bye, bye hens.
  4. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    I had a similiar situation a week or so ago. When I had to isolate a dark brahma (Omellette) for a swolen eye. When the time came to return to the flock, I placed her in the run (a dog kennel) with the rest of the birds. My other dark brahma was going after her and started pulling feathers out of omelettes neck. After a few minutes of them fighting, I thought maybe more space would help them, so I let them free-range for a little bit and that helped a lot. There hasn't been any fights since.
    So, maybe your birds need a little more space? Maybe let them free range together for an hour or so?

    Good Luck!
  5. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Thanks so much....

    I do have the funds already set aside to enlarge and spice up the outdoor run. Maybe I can do that and see what happens. Maybe they are too cramped for space???

    Well I guess I better get my husband to get his trailer out, and send him shopping for what I want. I can work on it a little here and there. Figures, this is my weekend, to work the weekend. [​IMG]

    So maybe with more space, there is hope???

    IF I was to let them free range "for a bit" how do you get them back in?
  6. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, California
    My Coop
    When I added three Hatchery RIR's to my BA flock(RIR=6 weeks, BA=12 weeks), I waited until it was good and dark and set them on the roost next to the BA's. It worked very well. I put them on coop lockdown for five days so they would have their little brains reset and know this was now home.

    If the chickens have been in the run and coop for more than three days, they will automatically go back to it at dusk. This being July, my chickens are in their coops between 8:30 and 9:00 each night. Currently I have a big coop and a little coop. Two Red Stars live in the little coop while the RIR's and the BA's live in the big coop. Even though all of the chickens will go into both coops in the day, they split into "their" coops at night.

    I find this to be amazing and so much better than trying to round them up each night. Of course you may have problems with the mix of chickens. I read a post form a guy that said some chicken breeds are not compatible with others. Leghorns have been mentioned as being a high strung breed, so they may never integrate too well with the Brahmas. When you get new chickens you might want to consider getting breeds that are known for getting along with other breeds. BA's are known for getting along well with others. The Spanish and Mediterranean chickens not so much.

    Good luck!
  7. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    It sounds like you just need to let them work out the pecking order. Letting them free range is a good way to do that. In a larger area the lowering ranking hens can run and get away and they won't get hurt so much. It's going to take a little time and some fighting is to be expected.
  8. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Just got home, and she is just attacking them, won't let them near the food, and so off she went to the solitary confinement. The other one needs to calm back down, or she goes too.

    Too much stress and drama for me, so it must be [email protected] for the chickens. Hate to lose a good egg layer, but she just can't live here. I tried, but can't watch the pain (literally) she is causing the other chickens.

    Thanks so much for all your advice, and guidance. Wish it had worked out for her and me, but life it what it is.....she must go !!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  9. IdealisticRoo

    IdealisticRoo Chicken Tender

    Oct 18, 2010
    I hate discord in my coop, the possibility of unrest and fights is the major reason that keeps a chicken addict like me from buying EVERY chicken I see!

    I find that food and space seems to cause unrest in my coop. So, I have fewer chickens and more peace now!

    I also have 6 waterers and 3 feeders in different areas in my coop! It is a pain keeping them all full, but it does help keep the peace.

    I also scatter scratch in several places when I do.

    I have had good luck with "slow introduction" via placing the solitary area inside or next to the main coop so they can see each other and get used to each other without the fighting and pecking!

    I agree that she (and possibly the other trouble-maker) may need to go and I truly hope peace returns to your coop very soon! [​IMG]
  10. Sylvialarry

    Sylvialarry Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    Northern Calif
    I too, have one that is extremely aggressive. Her nick name is mean chicken aka Dixie she is a four year old barred rock and will not let my 14 weeks old girls sleep in the same coop. I let them free range all day and lock up the mean one at night in a dog crate. This has been going on for almost 3 weeks and they are still not sleeping together. However I am not giving up hope. I believe they will be friends it is just taking longer than I expected. Don't give up hope. After all good things come to those who are patient. Good luck to you.

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