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Serious behavior issues in my flock! PLEASE HELP!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Terim12, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Terim12

    Terim12 Out Of The Brooder

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    i started with 5 hens. Over a period of about 5 months I lost 2. I decided to add 2 more. I bought day old chicks at the same time my brother did. I left my 2 girls with his until they were around 17 weeks old before introducing them to my flock. They did not take well to them. I completely redid their run thinking that might help equal the playing field. No such luck. I have had them together for about 8-9 months now. My original 3 are still terrible to the "new" members. I don't know what to do! My original girls did not roost at night. Not sure why but they slept on the floor. The new girls I added roosted so now my others have taken the roost over!! We are having a downpour right now and I went out to check on my Rhode Island red (one of the newer ones) and sure enough she was on the roost OUT IN THE RUN IN THE POURING RAIN!! I managed to get her in the house but don't know if she will stay. Also, ALL of my hens have stopped laying eggs. I have had zero eggs for about the last 3 weeks. I think they are molting as there are tons of feathers in the run but it could be they are pecking each other.

    Sorry this is so long but I am sick for them and don't know what to do! I am contemplating redoing the roost in the coop. Thoughts??
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    How big is your set up. The more room the better. You will always have two separate groups. Chickens bicker more when they feel crowded or bored, so it's possible you don't have enough room for them all behaviorally.

    Any chickens older than a year will stop laying to molt, and those younger will often stop and start laying during this time of year.
     
  3. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you introduced them the wrong way. Sorry if I sound bossy but you're not supposed to just throw them all in together you're supposed to slowly merge the two flocks over a period of time for a few months. Do you free range at all?
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Agree with Oldhen. Can you post pictures of your coop and run? It would help us to help you maybe tweak your setup some to make it easier for your chickens to coexist.

    There isn't really any "right way" or "wrong way" to introduce chickens. There are some ways that make it a lot less stressful than others, but we all have to do what works best for us. While slowly merging the flock over a few months would be ideal, not everyone has a setup that makes that possible. The free range question is a good one - that can help give chickens some good room for integration.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Agreed. Here are some links that my help. I'd suggest reading through them and deciding what ideas may work for you.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1098683/introducing-new-chickens-to-old-flock#post_16895615
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  6. Terim12

    Terim12 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think space is the issue. The run is 12 X 12 and the coop is 5 X 4. I put things out there to keep them from being bored and I let them out to free range in the evenings. Except on these rainy days.
     
  7. Terim12

    Terim12 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am sure I didn't. I didn't have any kind of temporary space to put them in. So you aren't being bossy, you are just speaking truth : ) I thought because they were close to the same size and the newer ones weren't laying yet that it would make a difference. Obviously I was incorrect. I am hoping some of you more experienced chicken owners may be able to help me from this point and see if I can straighten it out.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    A 5x4 coop is tight when they aren't getting along...it's barely big enough for 4 birds that are getting along.

    Post some pics of your coop and run....inside and out.....and we might be able to come up with some ideas to help ease the pain.
    You'll need to have a separate sheltered area for sure....then do some chicken juggling to get them together...will take time and effort.

    Meanwhile 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
     
  9. Terim12

    Terim12 Out Of The Brooder

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    I keep trying to post pictures but it won't do it. What am I doing wrong?? When I click on the attachment icon it says I don't have permission. When I just drag and drop them it won't submit. The coop is actually 7' X 5'.
     
  10. Terim12

    Terim12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay I think I have figured it out! Here goes again![​IMG]

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