Why can't they just get along?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Candymom, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Candymom

    Candymom Out Of The Brooder

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    Over two months ago we introduced four new adult hens into our current group of four hens. I think that was a big mistake. They are still not getting along with each other. The new four have pushed all the other ones down in the pecking order. The old ones spend almost their whole day inside the coop. when they venture out for water or a stroll, the new ones chase them away. They have 30 square feet inside the coop and over 120 square feet of run area outside the coop.
    How likely is it that this will get better? Would I be better off getting rid of all or some of the four new ones? If I do get rid of them, and I add more, should it just be one or two at a time? I'd ultimately like to have 7 or 8 of them but I feel like it's just not going to work out with these crabby ladies.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd try to break up the pecking order by isolating whoever I thought was the worst bully for at least a week. They should then have to return at the bottom of the pecking order. Or maybe isolate two bullies with each other.

    Lots of flocks form groups; some of mine did so for over a year before they finally became one group, but I didn't have anyone being kept out of the coop or away from food, nothing serious like that, they just hung around in different areas during the day. With the situation you have, I'd have to try to intervene.

    I hope you have at least two feeders and two waterers.
     
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the idea of isolating the worst peckers and reintroduce them in a week.
     
  4. Candymom

    Candymom Out Of The Brooder

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    I do have multiple food and waterers, so that's good. Let's say I take out two of the four rude girls for a week, then swap them out for the other two rude girls for another week. Do you think that would be beneficial? Or should I just stick with them one by one?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I'd take either one or two of the rude ones out then put them all back together and see what happens. Let them reorganize their pecking order. THEN decide if you need to do more. I wouldn't confuse them with all that moving around at once.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2010
  6. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also add some other activity for them to keep them occupied, such as a cabbage on a string and or a tube of crickets. Its fun for us to watch and something for them to keep them occupied on the other birds.
     
  7. Candymom

    Candymom Out Of The Brooder

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    ok, that is very helpful. I'll take out the two meanest ones for a couple of weeks, and in the meantime I'll hang some cabbages for everyone. Fortunately I still have my smaller, older coop with a little yard that I can put them in. Crossing my fingers that this works, thanks!
     

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