what's considered "excessive" when establishing an order?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aunt Mildred, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Aunt Mildred

    Aunt Mildred Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2009
    I'm fairly new at this chicken business. Last spring we had three polish hens that grew up together from hatchlings. At about 10 months old, one died from a dog attack. We were worried that the remaining two would get too cold in the coop come wintertime, so we got two more chicks. We wanted to try something different, so we got two cuckoo marans. We raised them from chicks inside, then put them in the coop with the polish hens, but separated by a plastic mesh screen. When they seemed big enough, we put them all together. The two older polish hens went ballistic on the younger marans, even though they were about the same size. Not just pecking them, but chasing them around the coop and pecking them repeatedly - and the marans just took it, wouldn't fight back. So, we separated them a bit longer. Then a huge heat wave came around, and one of the polish hens died from overheating. The other three we let free range for the rest of the summer so they could find some deep shade and they seemed to get along fairly well, even at night, sharing a coop peacefully. So, when it started to get cooler, we decided to put the three girls back in the coop full time. For the most part, they got a long pretty well, and the polish one only pecked at the marans every now and then. Then one morning, I woke up and went to feed the birds, and one of the marans and been ripped to shreds. Our coop is intruder proof, so I'm positive the polish hen killed her. So, she's now in isolation in another coop. (she never seemed to need much social interaction anyway) She is free range during the day, so can still see the other hens, but just can't get to them. We then got two new hens, because we thought the remaining maran would need a friend. The two new ones were raised together from hatchlings, and were about the same age as our maran. We kept them in the same coop, but separated for a week or so, and then put the three of them together. Now, they're all kind of messing with each other. It's not really bad, but our maran's comb is almost entirely pecked off and she's lost a lot of feathers (which she might be molting anyway) and the other night, one of the new ones wouldn't let the maran or the other hen in the coop to sleep. I just don't know if this is normal and I"m just overreacting, or if the integration isn't going well... or if there's something I can do? any advice? All the posts I've read seem to say that the integration should go smoothly, except for a few squabbles when establishing the pecking order. But this has been going on for a few months now, and I don't know if it's going to get any better? And after seeing one chicken "murdered" I tend to be over-cautious... any suggestions?
     
  2. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not sure I can advise you except to say that I originally planned on an "all in / all out" system. I got 24 chicks and I don't plan on making any additions/integrations at all. When they stop laying I may try to give them away or make soup out of them and get some more chicks. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
     
  3. eastbaychicks

    eastbaychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Livermore
    AH! I am so listening to this post. I'm having a similar time with my maran... she just about had her poor baby comb ripped off today, and she's almost as big as the chicken who did it. Younger, but she's a tall birdie.

    Is it a breed thing? I am going to have nightmares hoping she isn't murdered. Ah so very sad, I love my maran, she has the sweetest temperament.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  4. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    My Coop
    My Marans take all of the pecking and doesn't fight back at all. So far my integration of 1 marans and 1 ameraucana has gone pretty well. I just had to take some of the older girls out and put them in chicken jail for a few days. My BR and BO have been the problem children, but all is well at this point. I am not sure what the best wa to handle integration is, but I would pull out the biggest bully for 3-4 days and see if that knocks her down a peg or two.
     
  5. eastbaychicks

    eastbaychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Livermore
    Quote:I only have two older birds that aren't integrated and both of them are bullies. So.... do I put them in jail on their own?
     

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