When will the Roo calm down with new hen of flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by grnidone, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. grnidone

    grnidone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I added a new hen to my tiny flock. I started with a roo and two hens. I added a new hen, and she's scared to death of him. He sees her and RUNS across the yard all fluffed up and DANCES AND JUMPS on top of her and breeds her and breeds her and breeds her.

    She won't leave the coop, and when I take her out, I chase off the Roo because I don't want him to breed her in front of me. (I'm head Roo, dang it!) I can't say I blame her for being scared.

    When I leave, she runs to the nearest bush where he guards her and waits for her to come out. Then, she RACES back to the nesting box and won't leave.

    The other hens treat her as one of their own. When will he calm down? Will this normalize? He's a very good Roo to my other hens.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I would remove him for a few months. I would pen him where he can be seen and can interact through the fence. Sometimes hens get frightened of the rooster which makes them act submissive which seems to get the rooster more riled. Breaking the cycle and letting the hen calm down can help, and give her time to build up her confidence. A good rooster would protect her and look after her not repeatedly breed her. Another option is making sure there are places she can get away from him.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are these birds?
    When did you add the new bird?
    Do the other female pick on the new bird?
     
  4. grnidone

    grnidone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got this hen on Sunday, so 2 days ago. She is acting very depressed, and, while she will eat when I put food in front of her, she won't go out of her way to get it.

    The hen is a year old...a bit older than the other three who are just shy of a year.

    The other hens leave her alone.

    Do you think I should get another hen from her old flock so she has a friend?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    She is confused at her change of location. If you leave her long enough, she'll figure out where the food is. At least that's been my experience. I've never had a chicken starve itself to death after a relocation. It may help to have a couple of feeding and watering stations available - maybe one behind a sheet of plywood or something so she can get out of sight of your cockerel. A couple of similar hiding places wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Sometimes that's all it takes to break up an attack. Out of sight, out of mind... Her overall behavior isn't that unusual for a new bird to a flock. At this point I would not get another bird from her old flock. She's been gone long enough that I don't know that they'd still be "friends".

    As Oldhen suggests, it may not be a bad idea to separate the cockerel for a while.

    How big is your coop and run?
     
  6. grnidone

    grnidone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is a tractor, and the "yard" that goes with the tractor is like 10 feet by 3 feet. Not large at all. BUT, what I can do is keep Roo inside the coop area and let the girls out in the yard to forage. Hopefully then, if she starts doing normal chicken behaviors, she will gain some confidence and start to feel better.

    I'm very worried about her...
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    2 days is nothing....the cockerel is trying to dominate her and she's not having any of it, lock the cockerel up and let the new hens find her place in the flock.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  8. grnidone

    grnidone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AH! the keyword to look up is "Integration." Sometimes, it's helpful to know what the question is that I'm supposed to ask...
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Absolutely...and on BYC using the 'advanced search' with 'titles only' will pare down the results and more accurately.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Okay....Well......You basically tossed her into a wolf pen.....

    First off she should of been in a look no touch pen for a week....Then try letting her into the flock with supervision....Chickens are nasty in the following of pecking order.....Mean...
    Free ranging during introductions are easier....Two new hens is Ideal.........

    Your situation sounds very tight....Sometimes it takes weeks/months for a new Bird to ever be tolerated, never mind a flock member.......


    Cheers!
     

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