Trying to add a new chicken to the flock-HELP!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mdelhomme, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. mdelhomme

    mdelhomme Out Of The Brooder

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    4/21/2-15: I'm going to get a fourth chicken today and was worried about integrating her. My Barred Rock even chases the little birds away from my patio. She's such a bossy thing, and she's the youngest of my three! Last year we kept her inside for a few months until we thought she would be big enough to take the pecking order. When we finally put her in the coop the other chickens pecked at her and excluded her, she never got to snuggle on the roost, was always at the end by herself. Now she's bigger and fatter than the other two (Black Sex Link and EE) and is usually snuggled up to one of them at night, and is the most people friendly, lets us pick her up easily. We're thinking of getting another EE, love the green eggs, but if I could find a Lavender Wyandotte I'd go for that.


    OK, so I went and got another EE that day and the poor thing still lives in a dog kennel in the house. She free ranges in the back yard with the big girls all day, mostly stays out of their way, Laura the boss chases her when she can. But at night Laura will not leave her alone. We took her outside to the coop for three nights in a row last week, after the big girls went to bed hoping they wouldn't notice. The first day I went out at 0530 in the AM to check things out and I thought she was dead! The bigs had her pinned down in a corner and she was flat on the ground with her head tucked under the edge of the feeder! I picked her up and loved all over her. The next night we brought bossy into the house and took baby out to the coop. Next morning she was being chased by second in command but wasn't flattened. I even hung an additional perch in the run so she would have somewhere to escape to. She won't get on it. Third night, same scenario.
    We ended that little experiment quickly. Now I'm terrified. We leave on vacation next week and will be having a neighbor kid chickensit for us. I plan to build a new fence tomorrow to make a smaller free range area and take the baby's dog kennel outside so she will have shelter at night but will be forced into a smaller run with the bullies, I'm hoping closer proximity will help get everyone used to each other. Last night I was holding the baby outside and Laura walked right up and bit me on the leg. I can only assume it was an attempt to bully me because I had the baby. So naturally, I retaliated by getting the fly swatter and chasing her around the yard. (Glad there aren't any surveillance cameras, I probably looked really stupid, and I didn't catch her).
    I'm having chicken nightmares. Any advice welcomed.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! It does take quite awhile to add new birds, there is a nice article in the Learning Center on integrating flocks you might like to check out, the part about actually combining them is after the quarantine section https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock and a nice article using the wire method https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method. If you get different age birds, generally it is best to wait until the birds are about the same size, and then have a long period of the two flocks being able to see each other but no touching, through wire seem to work best, ie dividing the coop into two or more sections or keeping the new/younger ones in a cage inside the coup for a couple of weeks to a month at least. The chickens will get to know each other and sort of work out a pecking order before actually coming in contact with each other. After a week or two, letting them free range together is a good idea and should help... It will take a couple of weeks to get the pecking order sorted out.
     
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. The other members have given you some good advice and links. Any new chickens need to be integrated slowly and carefully using the "look but don't touch" method. There is a good article at https://poultrykeeper.com/general-chickens/introducing-new-chickens/ explaining how to do it. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in integrating your new chicken into the flock.
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    If she ends up back with the others, she won't survive your vacation. Could you find someone who would adopt her? Sounds like she has had enough trauma in her young life. Would probably do well as a house chicken.
     
  7. mdelhomme

    mdelhomme Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Spokane, WA
    We had the neighbor girl separate the chickens each night but they free ranged (in their large enclosure) during the day. We got home and I partitioned off a small part of the run and put the worst offender in time out. She'll be there for a few weeks at least. The "new" chick stays in the coop with the other two now, but usually winds up outside by morning, on the high perch. She still runs from the others but we noticed the distance between them is far less than when we left. She's as big as they are now.
    And yes, we did quarantine when she first came home for several weeks before we introduced her to the flock.
    Thanks for all your great advice, folks.
     
  8. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined the flock!
     
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome.
     
  10. mdelhomme

    mdelhomme Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2014
    Spokane, WA
    Update: All chickens are now in the coop. The baby is integrated but still wary of the bully. The bully isn't nearly as interested in bullying anymore, sometimes she chases Queenie around but it seems half-hearted like she just thinks she should but doesn't really have a plan. They all sleep together at night with a little pushing and shoving. And best of all, I'm getting lots of eggs. Queenie is now using the nest boxes, she started laying under the coop in the sheltered run until I put bricks in her laying holes.
     

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