The "Pecking" Order

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by UrbanScratch, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. UrbanScratch

    UrbanScratch In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2012
    Our old flock consisted of one three year old hen, two two year old hens, and four pullets. We picked up five new thirteen-sixteen month old hens that have been SPOILED rotten by their previous owner.They are gorgeous birds. So we did the night time flock integration method. No issues over night. This morning however the battles have begun. At first it was our oldest(white leghorn) hen was challenging the senior new hen. After this our second oldest hen started in on the new hen. She drew a little blood so we seperated them into the side yard. Is this normal behavior for hens? I know that the establishing order is normal, but what about blood shed? When should i expect the fighting to settle down? Have hens ever killed one another? I want the transition to be as low stress as possible for the new ladies.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

  2. Masonicflock

    Masonicflock Chirping

    Nov 4, 2012
    Springfield, Tn
    Let them fight it out is usually best bet. They will have to establish pecking order and the longer you stretch it out the longer it will take and the more they will fight. You can try integrating by putting chicken wire up like halfway in pen to let them get acquainted through the fence which may help a little..
  3. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Can you divide your outside space and split new and old girls? It might help if they can see each other but not have actual contact. You can still try roosting them together at night
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I agree they just have to work it out. The wire or other divider is a good idea, they can squabble through the fence and not really do much damage.
  5. UrbanScratch

    UrbanScratch In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2012
    Everyone is getting along now. I dispatched the top hen this morning for dinner because she was past her prime and very mean. Things seem to have calmed down a lot since then. Thanks for all the advice. Cheers!

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