Why can't we all just get along!?

lindzkg

In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2015
35
1
26
Colorado Springs, CO
So first off, this is the first time we've had chickens, so although I've tried to do my research and I thought I knew my stuff, I'm feeling less and less feel confident as time goes on haha

We started off with some Rhode Island Reds, they're doing great and about a month old. A week ago we got two Cochins to add to the group and they were doing great until unfortunately one of them passed away. The older ones weren't with the younger ones, and the one who died didn't seem to be beaten up or sick, just was laying under the light not moving one morning. Once I took her out of the cage her sister would NOT spot peeping, I could get her to stop if I was holding and snuggling her sometimes but other than that she'd just peep and peep and peeeeepppp, all day alllll night. It broke my heart. I asked people on a form here if I should get her a friend and everyone said yes, and it didn't really matter what breed. So today we picked up a Speckled Susssex to add in with her because I had read that they are pretty friendly, she's about the same age as her but won't stop pecking at the poor Cochin now! I separated them, and at least the Cochin isn't peeping anymore, but above her beak has some broken skin.

Anyway, I need help, desperately :rolleyes: I don't think I'm being a good chick mamma. How do I help them be friends? Should I put anything on the Cochins nose? It's not scratched up too bad, but if there's anything I can do to help her I would. She's so super sweet, even as a baby and she's had a rough couple of weeks. :(
 

manychitlens

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
249
14
71
Northern California
Poor thing, and poor chicken mama, you've had a rough go of it, too. :( Is there a way that you can separate the chicks, but make it so that they can all see each other? Then they can get used to each other without being able to be bullies. I would absolutely be trying to integrate them with the older ones asap, the older they get the less likely they will be accepting of each other, and the sooner they are together the easier it will be for you! Can I ask why you didn't put the cochin in with the older ones? Like, did you try and have a disaster? You could put a little neosporin (without the pain relief, the caines in the pain relief aren't good for them) on the cochin's beak if you feel like it's necessary. I hope they all settle down soon and become friends! :( big hugs.
 

lindzkg

In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2015
35
1
26
Colorado Springs, CO
I was just worried that they were so much bigger than her that they would accidentally (or not accidentally) hurt her. They're right next to each other so the big ones roost on their box and look at the little ones, but I didn't keep them together in the same one. I did try just to see what would happen and the Reds poked at her a bit and I got nervous I was doing the wrong thing. They didn't seem like they were trying to murder her or anything, more curious, but I didn't want it to get out of hand. The Reds are ready to go outside in the coop but it's been a down pour in Colorado with tons of hail the last week and I didn't want their first week outside to be traumatic, but that also means they're kinda crazy in their box (it seems friendly jumping around) but I don't want them to stomp the babies.

Thanks for the tip about Neosporin, I was thinking about putting that on her but wasn't positive I should. :)
 
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lindzkg

In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2015
35
1
26
Colorado Springs, CO
Welp, I just tried to see how they would do if I put them together again and for a while it was fine and then the Sussex got grumpy and pecky again. Then I tried putting them all together to see if they'd be distracted and happy and the Sussex went after one of the Reds and they both teamed up suddenly and grabbed her by her foot and yanked her
1f601.png
the Sussex will now be known as Sassy. We'll try again tomorrow haha
 

manychitlens

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
249
14
71
Northern California
Totally understandable. :) If they are just curious pecking, let them do it. The only reason to step in would be an injury, pulled feathers, blood, etc. I totally get being a nervous mama, lol! :) My worry is that they'll be separate until they are much older, and it might be so much harder to get them to be friends at that point, you know? Maybe put them all together in a neutral place if you have one, like the run or something (just an idea), so that it's nobody's 'territory', and see how it goes. You never know, they might be fast friends. :) Of course you will be right there just in case something gets out of hand, but hopefully they will just be instant besties. :)

Just make sure to double check your neosporin for the pain relief, I had to actually go and buy the kind without just for the chickens, because I always use the one with lidocaine (or whatever Caine it is that they use) for myself and the kids. :)
 

lindzkg

In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2015
35
1
26
Colorado Springs, CO
Alrighty, sounds good. Once the rain/snow/massive amounts of hail stops I'll put them all outside to eat all the bugs in the grass, ladies who eat together, are friendly together, riiiight? ;) how can you argue on a full belly.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,288
33,319
1,122
Colorado Rockies
How is everything at the chicken wars? Settling down, hopefully.

What is the age difference in weeks between the older and younger ones? And what is the age diff between the Cochin and the Sussex? Also, your friends kind of steered you wrong about the Sussex breed. They may be friendly as all get-out with people, but they are domineering with their own kind. Mine have their own coop and run because they're such thugs.

Get some Blue-kote and use it immediately on any open wound or patch of bare skin. It'll camouflage the wound so it won't be an inviting target. It also helps heal it.

I think you're beginning to find out that adding chickens willy-nilly is fraught with problems. If only we all automatically knew that chicks fair much better when starting in a unit of three or four or more. That way, they still have a flock unit if one or two fail to make it past the early stage , and they have more self confidence when dealing with older chickens.

What happened with your youngest is you introduced an aggressive chick to a very docile chick and there were no others to draw the focus away from the target chick. It might help to give these two a lot more space filled with distractions. Even as young as they are, a hunk off a flock scratch block tossed into the brooder might make a big difference in giving the Sussex something to peck at other than the Cochin. Climbing things like blocks of wood help. Also toys like string or marbles and maybe a hanging apple. A tub of sand will supply grit as well as being a fun dirt bath.

We'll talk about merging the two groups of chicks when I know the age difference.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,922
1,161
291
Georgia
I asked people on a form here if I should get her a friend and everyone said yes, and it didn't really matter what breed.

Quote:
I was one of the two folks that replied to your original thread. See above. Yes the breed DOES matter!
 
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