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They STILL don't like her! Help? :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rhaj, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
    I had a small backyard flock of 5 girls... 4 are pullets, just recently started laying (3 golden comets, 1 RIR) and a year old silkie.

    Everything was fine.... and then, I added a (very sweet) year old Ameraucana.

    When I put her in, they all attacked her. So, I kept her in a wire dog cage in their run for 1 week, so they could get used to each other without being able to hurt her. After a week, I figured it was time, so at night I started putting her on the roost in the coop with the others. The first couple days of doing this, I put her back in the cage during the day and back on the roost at night. They still go after her, so she stays away from them-- and I mean at all times. She sits up on the outside roosting pole all day long (I have 2 roosting poles, one in the run and 1 in the coop.) She doesn't even come down to eat and drink because they go after her, so I go out and guard her while she eats and drinks to keep them away from her. Every night, I move her onto the nighttime roost inside the coop with the others. We've been doing this for another week (been 2 weeks total that she has been out there).

    Is two weeks is a long time for them to be acting like this??? What else can I do?

    UPDATE POST #7, STILL mean to her. What to do????
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010

  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It is very tough to integrate 1 hen into a flock. She is the outsider. In the future you might always want to get two or three new ones at a time. I have done that, and have very little issues.

    Now, though, I have seen it mentioned, is to remove one of the flock, and quarantine her for a few days. Then introduce the picked on one to her, hopefully she will be so lonely, that they will buddy up. Then after a couple of days reintroduce the pair. The original flock will not remember the one they liked, and will pick on both of them, but together, they can stand it better.

    good luck, mrsk
  3. firsthouse_mp

    firsthouse_mp Songster

    Dec 13, 2009
    Yes, I agree. Your sweet EE needs a friend and partner. Think about the one in the previous flock that would be the most amenable to meeting a new friend. Then, get ready for an "integration schedule". After bonding the two, then add another of the elders with them for a bit. The entire process may take another few weeks.

    I agree that in the future at least 2-3 hens are the minimum to integrate. Good Luck!!!!
  4. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    It's tough, but possible. I would recommend making a small area in the corner of the run where she can walk around, peck, eat, drink, etc and only be separated by the wire fence. That way, they will get used to her being the run with them. It took us 3 weeks or so to get ours to stop fighting and then it took a bit longer for them the be friendly enough to allow peace. Still put her in the coop at night though!! They will slowly get used to her! THe two posted above about using an existing hen as a buddy will be helpful! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I'm gonna have to deal with this situation myself.

    My best friend is coming to stay with me during part of my vacation, her next door neighbor had two chickens and one died some time ago. The neighbor finally decided to try to find a home for the lonely hen because she's not laying, and her husband is getting annoyed about it. He's mentioned chicken stew several times over the past week.

    ***grrrr for people like that***

    So, yes, I'm going to take that chicken. My friend has her in a pet carrier right now, and will be driving 380 miles tomorrow (with her German Shepherd mix in the back seat and the pet carrier with the hen in the very back of her RAV4).

    The hen's name is "Red" but she's NOT a RIR, from her description.

    Anyway, I have the "lodging" for her for quarantine, and for integration purposes. Red won't be lonely for much longer.

    I, however, am worried about the "single chicken integration" process.
  6. chickensrun

    chickensrun In the Brooder

    Oct 21, 2010
    [​IMG] Yes I too am watching my adorable new girl being ignored or shoved away from the food or pecked at all the time. I suppose your ideas about keeping them separate yet able to see each other for a few days and then letting one girl in with her and then slowly integrating them back in the group. it is difficult, I don't have a large space but will do my best to help keep the peace. it is sad that they don't get along!
  7. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
    UPDATE: They are STILL mean to her.

    I kept her in the wire dog crate (inside the run) during the day, hoping they would see her and get used to her without being able to hurt her. Well it's not working, they are not accepting of her at all. If I didn't put her in the cage, she would sit up on the outside roost in the run ALL DAY and not eat or drink, so I don't want to go back to that.

    At night, i put her up on the roost inside the coop with the others. I have to wait until it's pitch black out or they attack her when I put her on the roost. In the morning when it gets light out again-- yep you guessed it. I brought her inside with me this morning because she is bleeding [​IMG]

    I tried putting one of the others (actually tried more than one, one at a time) in the wire dog cage with her like someone suggested so she makes a buddy, but they just went after her.

    I am at a loss. She is really sweet and I hate that they are doing this to her. I don't want to, but I may have to give her away soon if I can't stop this [​IMG]

    One suggestion was to put them all in a different, unfamiliar area... but I only have a small backyard coop. I don't have a barn or anything where I could put them. Only thing I could do is put them in my basement but I have no where to put them. I have a play yard enclosure thing, but they would just fly out... If I did figure out some way to get them all in my basement, how long would they have to stay there? I would worry that when they got back outside to their familiar turf, that everything would go right back as before.

  8. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chirping

    Sep 23, 2010
    Freeville, NY
    That's awful...may I ask, how big is the dog cage you are putting the 2 girls into together? Is it too close for comfort for them? Is there anyway you can "split" the run so she can be near them but they can't touch her?? Do you have a run?

    I am fearing the same thing will happen when I re-introduce my ameracauna who has been separated on "bedrest" for the last week with a leg injury, and still with a week to go in isolation. [​IMG] I am hoping they will get along like peas and carrots as before, but am worried they will think she is a newbie and not accept her.... [​IMG]

    Do chickens forget their previous family members?? [​IMG]
  9. rhaj

    rhaj Songster

    May 30, 2010
    NE'ern Connecticut
  10. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    Good morning, rhaj! I had to integrate 2 EEs into an established group of 4 BSLs earlier this fall. It was a nightmare! Overall, it took a little over a month for everything to smooth out, and even now, they're at the bottom of the pecking order. I love my chickens dearly, so it was heartbreaking to watch. I added a couple extra feeders and waterers to be sure everyone was getting the chance to eat, and snuck extra treats to the EEs (it made me feel better). My "aha" moment was when I let them all free range in a newly manicured area of our backyard (we dug up quite a few bushes). This was unfamiliar territory to both groups of birds, so it worked well. I also would coop up 2 or 3 of the BSLs and let 1 or 2 mingle with the EEs for a few hours. This way, the BSLs couldn't bombard the EEs. My biggest bully also found herself in a time-out a few times. I also think that maybe the temperament of the EEs had something to do with the integration. They were just too sweet and passive to stick up for themselves (as your girl may be). I'd say time and space are the best things you can give to your flock. Best of luck!
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010

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