When will the ladies become friends? OR is this just "pecking order"?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Islandlife, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Islandlife

    Islandlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Olympia, WA
    I introduced 2 new ladies (7 months old RIRwhite and Araucana) to my 2 resident ladies (8 to 9 months old Sexlink and Java). The 4 of them are in a largish run 8' x 12' x 6' high with roosts and small covered areas etc but one of my resident ladies is just death on the 2 newbies (even though I kept them close for a few days (but apart) before actually putting them 'in' together. Will they ever become friends or at least tolerate each other? OR will the literal back biting and feather pulling never stop?

    My resident lady (Sexlink) has put Fear into the Hearts of the new two chickens and she is really vicious with them. Will it stop? Should I separate them? Re-introduce them? Or is this just a common example of "pecking order?" The 2 new chickens are hovering and hiding and darting about. Nobody is relaxed at all.

    My next question is - my 2 new ladies are not nearly as socialized as my first 2 ladies were when I got them. Will they calm down into pets? or once a wild chicken always a wild chicken?

    I should say I'm also fairly new to raising chickens.
     
  2. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Your chickens may never be "friends". Chickens are a lot like teenage kids...they are very cliqueish. They will learn to get along after a while. What you are seeing now is the natural pecking order being worked out. If your older hen gets too mean to the new ones you may need to put her in "chicken prison" for a few days. Just know she will become the low girl on in the pecking order when she is returned to the flock.

    As to the new girls being less socialized, just keep hand-feeding treats every day,catch and hold them while petting them every day and pet and talk to them each night while they are on the roost. It will take time and they may never be as tame as ones you raise from day-old chicks but they will come to be part of the family.

    Larry
     
  3. Islandlife

    Islandlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Olympia, WA
    Thanks! Appreciate the info. I removed "Mrs Meanie" tonight to the 6' x 6' dog run for all evening. She was happy enough scratching up the dirt and eating bugs. Her absence gave everybody else a relaxed evening and a breather. Put her back in once it got dark and hopefully tomorrow we'll be just that little bit further advanced to getting to know each other and getting along with one another. This is the first and last time I get different chickens. From now on I'm going to get all of 'em as babies from the same place. The effort of trying to get them to 'get along' can be trying.........

    Was handing out teeny tiny tidbit of real cooked chicken tonight. Even the new girls lost their nervousness and came close enough to see what was being gobbled down and they took some. Great Start!
     

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