Social groups and flexibility?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OlliOlliOlli, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. OlliOlliOlli

    OlliOlliOlli Songster

    Apr 28, 2009
    I had 2 RI Reds and 2 Black Australorps that were raised together from day-olds. (All pullets.)
    (This picture still gets me teary-eyed [​IMG] )


    Two died after my dachshund, which had also attacked my pitbull puppy and killed my pet duck, decided to break their necks while they were sunning outside one day. (I rehomed the dachshund to a loving stay-at-home mom and her 3 kids who adore him...we have had no chicken deaths since with my other 4 dogs.)

    My remaining RI Red and Black Australorp act like a pair at 2 1/2 months old. They sleep on top of each other with their necks overlapping, preen each other, and freak out if they are removed from one another. They invited the Easter Egger chicken to join them, and they are usually a trio now.

    However, I added a NH Red, and another 2 1/2 month old Black Australorp to join them. The Easter Egger hates them passionately, and the RI Red and the other Black Australorp want NOTHING to do with them.

    Will this pass over time or will the ladies always hold a grudge?

  2. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    I think if you give them time they will work it out.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I agree with Cat. As long as no blood is being shed, try to let them work it out.
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    You have hit on some insightful moments here. The henyard is a complex place, which bears close watching.
    It may be that they wont ever really get along. I've seen that in my own backyard flocks.
    It may be that they will become busom buddies, too.

    But, I'm putting my money on at least one of them remaining socially aloof - or pushed to the fringe. The dynamic is tricky.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I will agree with David on that. My Lilith has been raised with all the other chickens since day one, but the other chickens still don't cut her any slack. She lives on the fringes of the flock, but they aren't hurting her and that's good enough.

  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I have a couple of birds that like to share a nest box too. There are pics on my BYC Page.
  7. FlockMama

    FlockMama ChickyBawkyChickChick

    Mar 11, 2009
    Washington State
    I sure have read a lot of dachshund horror stories! I am sorry that your doxi did this. I have a very spoiled doxi as well and 4 chickens. I can actually put my doxi in the coop and he won't go after the chickens. The other day I let my older girls (5 1/2 month RIR) out to free range and they were going a little too far so my doxi went and corraled them back towards the yard! I was very impresses with my doxi's ways.....
    I am sorry again to hear about your loss and will always have an eye on my Winston.....I see he has fallen under the predators list more then once.[​IMG]

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