Trouble in the hen house!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MissouriScratchers, May 12, 2010.

  1. MissouriScratchers

    MissouriScratchers New Egg

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    May 12, 2010
    Hi everybody! I have chicken trouble in the Ozarks! We had 2 RIRs and 2 Cinnamon RIRs which were brought home together. Then the hubby surprised me one Saturday with 2 more beautiful RIRs. Its been a month now and the 4 original gals are still horribly rude to the newest additions to the coop. When I go to let them out in the morning the new gals stay in the coop till the other 4 have left the run. And still the other 4 will turn back and chase them around the run. It goes on all day long and I feel sorry for the new gals but they won't lay either. I am getting the same eggs as before the new arrivals. What can I do to get these ladies on the same page and start getting eggs out of the other two. The coop and run is plenty large enough and they all seem healthy. Thanks for any help or suggestions!!!
     
  2. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Your new girls won't lay until they feel it is safe to bring babies into this scene. For a hen's body, her eggs are all about baby chicks. So, it's normal for her oviduct to shut down production when she moves into an unknown territory. And it's normal to have turf-fight when integrating flocks. Give them time, give them lots of interesting things to do and to peck at, sprinkle seeds, let everyone have lots of hiding places, put extra roosts into the run so there's always a place to jump up and away from bullies. I like to use rotting logs as entertainment - because there are so many insects and things to peck at in rotting logs. So, I often have several "growing" around the yard, partly buried in the soil and well-watered. When my hens need extra "entertainment", I haul one out. Heavy, but well worth it.

    Also, give them more waterers and feeders, so everyone can have a chance at getting what they need and not being chased off quite so quickly. Once they've settled their "dispute" with the newcomers, you can remove surplus feeders & waterers.

    Watch the 2 new ones closely, to be sure they aren't getting bloody. If they are, treat their wounds & remove the worst bullies into time-out. Also, you can give them "turns" outside -- give the new girls a turn outside, without the bullies. Then, after a few hours, bring the old girls out and put the new girls inside, safely away from the bullies where they can eat/drink & still continue to get used to each other through the wire enclosure, without getting hurt by the bullies.

    Good luck! It's really nice that you have LOTS of space for integration, too!!

    ETA: welcome! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  3. MissouriScratchers

    MissouriScratchers New Egg

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    May 12, 2010
    Thank you feathersnuggles! I appreciate the info. I was starting to think they would never fit in with the "cool girl click" LOL. Guess I will just wait and let them get used to each other. I really like the rotten log idea and we have several as our property is 9 acres of woods and 1 open where the house and coop are. They have tunnels through all the brambles behind the garage, little paths running everywhere. Thanks again!!!
     

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