Why are chickens so mean to each other????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickie<3, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. chickie<3

    chickie<3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I am trying to intergrate my 2 15 week old pullets with my 3 5 week old babies. I have been putting the 5 week old girls in the run while my 2 15 week olds free range...The big girls go over once in a while but not much...when i take the babies out of the run at night to put them back into my garage..i carry the babies over to the big girls for them to get a closer look..and they r nasty..hard pecking them..making all kinds of sounds letting us know that they are not happy...CAN'T THEY ALL JUST GET ALONG..Will they ever??? Any suggestions???
     
  2. old geezer

    old geezer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2010
    cambridge , ny
    [​IMG]..brutal , isn't it . today i just added a new delaware hen to my group of 4--i felt i did the right thing--put her in a wire cage next to the run for about 4 hrs , and just before dusk i put her in the main run---they beat the living snot out of her--i'am no sap , but i felt soooo sorry for her --she is such a gentle bird and it seemed like she was crying for me to help her [​IMG]....but we do have to let nature take it's course----we just don't have to like it--
     
  3. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    Yeah, they can be brutal. I am adopting the all in all out rule from now on because I don't want to go through the integration anymore. I have been very fortunate, none of mine have inflicted any damage to my new guys, but if they didn't have room to run from the bigger ones, I'm sure I would be singing a very different tune. i have integrated into my original flock three times, the first two went pretty easy, but they were very young and had been kept in a brooder with tons of chicks in it. I got them home, put them together in the same brooder, but seperated by see through mesh for a couple of days. When I removed the mesh, there was no problems at all, other than the ordinary pecking order stuff. I recently picked up three more of the breeds I couldn't find when I first started my flock, and they were quite a bit younger. I tried the same tactic, left them segregated but able to see and hear each other for well over a month. The first two days of integration were terrible!!! They have settled down now, but i was thinking I was going to have to resegregate them.
     
  4. old geezer

    old geezer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2010
    cambridge , ny
    Quote:[​IMG]...do you think color of the birds might have something to do with it ???----my four origional birds of a darker color 1ss ,2 slw ,1 rir--the new addition dela is a delaware...[​IMG]
     
  5. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    I don't think it has as much to do with color as it does size. I wanted a mixed flock, so I had to purchase them as the breeds I wanted were available. My original 4 were BO. A few days later I added 2 BA. About 3 weeks later, I added 2 PBR and 2 RIR. A couple of months later, I added 2 SLW's and an Ameraucauna. I have two coops, so I put the little guys in the small coop and constructed a wire fence to contain them. I kept them segregated for well over a month because I wanted them to grow to be close to the same size before I integrated them. I think it has more to do with age/size and interrupting the established social order. When they were chicks and I added new birds, the pecking order was still being determined so nothing was really interrupted. Now, several months later, I add new birds, and the lowest on the pecking order are excited to finally have someone to pick on, so they do. I have not seen the boss hen pay any attention to the newcomers, it is the lower ranking birds. I guess it's like hazing in boot camp and fraternities.
     
  6. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    It's the pecking order. It can be awful. [​IMG] I usually don't have a problem with my birds getting a long. If I'm bringing in a new bird(s) I leave them in a wire cage inside the coop over night so none of the other hens can hurt her. I might even leave her there for a day or two just to make sure. Then, when the hens don't seem interested anymore I will let her out. I do have a big coop to do this in. It seems to work well. I also put a stick through the bars so the hen has something to perch on.
     
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Yeh, it can get nasty, but ever notice how people pick on each other. Now a hen needs a few square feet of coop... I figure I need bout a hundred acres free range at least 6 to 8 hours a day before I don't feel picked on or feel the need to pick at anyone else.
     
  8. old geezer

    old geezer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2010
    cambridge , ny
    [​IMG]..poor dela my delaware -- the other 4 birds were tearing hell out of her---i went in and she put her head against my shoulder and started purring like she was crying ,and asking for help i was reaally ticked off---[​IMG]-----yaeah i know ,that the way things are in chicken world--but i was about to change that----today i went down to this farmer near me--explained the situstion to him--he gave me this nice leghorn chicken--this will solve the problem , it sorta looks like the delware --well --off i went home---i just put this smaller leghorn in the pen---she imediately moved to the back knorner to be by herself---shure-nuff here comes the welcoming comitte---suzy had her hackles up and gracie bit into her back feathers---then all hell broke loose this smaller leghorn tore into the other four birds and gave them a good case of the woop-ass---[​IMG]----all 4 ran into the coop--suzy squaking like what the heck did you put in here with us---the other 3 were peeking out the coop door , she went over by dela and sorta hung arround by her most of the day....[​IMG]---tonite i put dela in the coop by hand ,, there was a bit of chatter---the leghorn dosent have a coop at the farm---just the barn---i put her in and all went quiet...so far-- problem solved.....[​IMG]
     
  9. afinney

    afinney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2010
    Gainesboro, TN
    I've always put newbies in the coop at night when everybody's sleeping and in the morning they act like the newbie has always been there
     
  10. KristaBeth

    KristaBeth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2010
    Providence, RI
    We just put 3 5-week-olds in with our 4 20-week-olds. I made sure for the first few days that when the littles were free-ranging, the big ones were in the run and vice versa. I only let them mingle when I was out there to supervise. I did let the big ones peck at the babies a bit but stepped in when it got too violent. I finally snuck the babies in the coop at night. The littles were terrified of the older pullets, but now the older ones just ignore them for the most part with a peck here and there if they are getting too close. I also make sure the younger ones have their own food/water source. There seems to be a truce now. Good luck!
     

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