today's tragedy

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by theguy67, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. theguy67

    theguy67 Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    39
    Dec 23, 2010
    I hatched 12 chicks out before christmas and they have been fully feathered for 3 weeks now so about 7weeks old. I decided to introduce them to the flock. They seemed to be fine until later today I found one dead by the door of the pen and about half of the 11 remaining bleeding from their tails. I dont know what to do. I keep the chicks in the green house ( which is 14x14 and occupys 3 tortoises) and I can not keep them in there forever, nor do i think the tortoises would like that very much. I took all the pullets out of the pen and returned them to the green house for now. How can I introduce them to the flock outside? I may have done something wrong but im not sure. Help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,715
    9,218
    766
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    A general rule of thumb is to not introduce younger birds to the flock until they are as large as the adults.
     
  3. theguy67

    theguy67 Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    39
    Dec 23, 2010
    Ok, I can make a small pen until then. But i assume the flock still will not appreciate them no matter the age.
     
  4. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X2

    Indrouce them slowly by putting htem close to each other so they can see each other but not get to each other. During their first physical contact have the favorite treats out so they are all too worried about the treats and not each other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    32
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:That's true, to some degree, but the degree to which the new birds will be intimidated and bullied by the older birds does depend on the size and age of the younger birds. The older and bigger they are, the better able the younger birds will be able to handle the "hazing" they're going to get.

    It's a good idea to let the two groups of birds see each other for a period of weeks, separated by wire. Then let them mix and watch carefully to see how it's going. Make sure there are at least two feeding stations to make it less likely some birds could be bullied away from the feed. It takes time for the flock to work out pecking order and fully integrate.

    Some people report good success with adding new birds at night, after the flock has gone to roost. Still, you have to watch and see how things go in the morning.

    Good luck!

    And, as I'm sure you know, the birds that have open wounds need to be kept separate until they heal, because the other chickens will peck at the blood.
     
  6. pattypenny

    pattypenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    1
    139
    Sep 27, 2007
    when I have a new bird I put it in a pen inside my chicken pen and let the old bird get used to the new bird. I have read that you should put the new birds in at night while the chickens are on the roost.
     
  7. theguy67

    theguy67 Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    39
    Dec 23, 2010
    thanks for the advice. Yes I have already seperated the injuired for a few days.
     
  8. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

    10,510
    14
    281
    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    Quote:That's true, to some degree, but the degree to which the new birds will be intimidated and bullied by the older birds does depend on the size and age of the younger birds. The older and bigger they are, the better able the younger birds will be able to handle the "hazing" they're going to get.

    It's a good idea to let the two groups of birds see each other for a period of weeks, separated by wire. Then let them mix and watch carefully to see how it's going. Make sure there are at least two feeding stations to make it less likely some birds could be bullied away from the feed. It takes time for the flock to work out pecking order and fully integrate.

    Some people report good success with adding new birds at night, after the flock has gone to roost. Still, you have to watch and see how things go in the morning.

    Good luck!

    And, as I'm sure you know, the birds that have open wounds need to be kept separate until they heal, because the other chickens will peck at the blood.

    Def X2. Wow I just have to say count yourself lucky they didn't kill them all!! Use Blue Kote on the ones with the wounds!!
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,715
    9,218
    766
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    When the young birds are larger, try adding the adult birds to the young birds one at a time on the young birds' turf. There is strength in numbers. This may work.
     
  10. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    I added two EE's to my mixed flock recently.....they had been 'seen' from a distance for over a month....then closer, right next to the pen for a couple of weeks. I had to fight DH over this as he is 'old school' and they are just chickens. So one day I went out and put up some chicken wire across the run where they would still have shelter.

    Well, they flew the coop so to speak and flew over the wire at some point. So they were in....and the girls were hateful but not killers. I went out and made a few 'shelters' for the new girls to get away from the meanies and things have worked out slowly....but okay. I put a long piece of tin in there and leaned it up against the summer shelter they all gather under for dust baths and shade. It has been used because I have seen them dash under it.

    One is on the roost with the others at night.....the other is not quite on the roost but over the nest boxes on a 2x4....don't know how she gets her butt up there. But probably in a few more weeks she will join the others. I pulled two of the original flock out yesterday and sold them to my neighbor who could not find any hens after building his coop. I made him come over in the evening after they were on the roost. We snatched them off the roost.....and the rooster was pretty much put out but I think all was forgiven today.....and the new girls looked a little braver when I was out there. Stirring the pot sometimes helps.

    It does take time....but everyone is right about the size. They need to be big enough to get away for sure. I have a corner in the pen that I plan on using for a grow out pen in the future once I start hatching eggs in the spring. Everyone can see everyone else. Once the chicks are fully grown I will open the door one day after letting the main flock out to free range right before dark. Let the new ones get the lay of the land.....then put them all up together at dark.

    Chickens are chicken. New things scare them. Even new chickens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by