Suzy Livergood

In the Brooder
Jan 27, 2020
20
15
26
Dogs invaded my chicken yard a few days ago. I promptly repaired the fence so they can't get in again and bought 4 new hens. The one hen that survived the dogs ( a cinnamon Queen) is really acting her name. She is snapping at the other hens. I'm worried about what she will do when they go in the coop tonight! Is there any thing i can do to stop this behavior?
 

Aapomp831

Songster
Oct 4, 2017
903
1,232
211
Lincolnton, NC
Whenever you introduce new birds, you need to separate them for a few days so they can see but not touch. Yes, you will probably have major problems in the coop tonight. Integration needs to happen slowly; chickens are NOT friendly to chickens not in their flock and need time to warm up.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,936
16,277
797
Southeast Louisiana
What do your coop and run look like? How big are they in feet or meters? How old are the new ones, I assume the old one is mature? Photos can really help us understand what you have to work with.

Not sure if you are trying to integrate mature hens to a mature hen or juveniles to a mature hen. It makes some differences. How big your facilities are can be pretty important to.

In general it's beneficial to house newcomers across wire from the established flock for a while, even a flock of one. If they are all mature it is often better to let them eventually settle it but maybe not immediately. If the new ones are juveniles it will take longer. If you are in North America it's getting a little late. My suggestion is to figure out how you can house them separately tonight in a predator proof place. Gives us a bit of time to find out what you have and how best to proceed.

People do this all the time. Sometimes it isn't that bad. But it's best to take your time.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
85,936
101,640
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
What do your coop and run look like? How big are they in feet or meters? How old are the new ones, I assume the old one is mature? Photos can really help us understand what you have to work with.
Yes, please!


Here's some more tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

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