1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

why won't he accept the new girls??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by technodoll, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Three days ago, I introduced my three 5-month old buff orpington girls into one of my groups, which counts 12 young hens and 1 roo, Jericho.

    This group has been together for a while, and I've introduced other hens in there without a problem before.

    Well Jericho has been attacking the BO's every chance he gets and it's not getting any better. The new girls have to perch high up in the pen all day long not to get attacked, they have no access to food or water until the group has perched on their pallet for the night, only then do they venture down to eat and drink. They are miserable and try to fly on my shoulders every time I go in there to visit. They're hungry and don't understand what is happening.

    They are at point of lay, but are not laying yet.

    They were housed in the pen next door (I have converted horse stalls in my barn) so have had vocal contact before, but not visual. I am not set up to separate the new girls from the group via chicken wire or anything, so I have to find a solution ASAP.

    The group girls do chase the new girls around, but nothing serious.

    It's Jericho that screams and attacks the BO girls.

    I've taken him out of the pen since this afternoon, to try and see if that will give the girls a break and help them settle into the group.

    I hope I'm not making it worse...

    (Jericho will be 1 year old in Feb 2011, I hatched him myself and he is SUCH a sweet, gentle roo both with humans and his hens... EXCEPT for the new hens. He has zero tolerance [​IMG] )

    I feel so bad - anyone else experience this and how as it resolved? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010

  2. caspernc

    caspernc Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Z town NC
    I would like a opinion of this also.
  3. RedReiner

    RedReiner Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Monroe, Wa
    not that I know anything about chickens, but I would take him out, and keep him out for at least a week. until all the girls were settled and getting along. then try putting him back.
  4. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Quote:that's my plan... I took him out this afternoon.

    i'm just afraid that things will be worse when in re-introduce him back to his flock in a few days?

    anyone? [​IMG]
  5. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    Just move him out and make sure he not seeing or hearing the block for 5-10 days. Chicken do have very short memory. He may not remember. This will make him act like new comer in the block. You may have to arrange thing in coop a little if you can.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I think taking him out and re introducing once the pullets are established may work. Please update and let us know how this goes. I'd keep him away a significant period of time 10 to 14 days so that the pullets become firmly established in the flock.
  7. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I agree with the others on taking him out and keeping him seperated for about 1 week. Sometimes this works and sometimes ya get a stubborn roo. I had a heck of a time trying to integrate more serama hens with a trio I had picked up awhile ago. I tried seperating the roo for 1 week and reintroducing him but he went right back to trying to kill off the newbies. I ended up having to sell him.

  8. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Roosters can be a wierd lot!

    I believe your boy is seeing the newcomers as a threat. Since they are not squatting like a hen would when he comes at them, then they must be young roosters challenging his lively hood! Poor guy.

    Taking him away for 5-7 days will help, However, they are going to have to sort it out a bit when he comes back too. In the future, introduce the young birds when they are much younger. I bring my new babies out when they are 8-12 weeks old. They are still making the baby sounds at that stage, and the older birds may push them around a bit, but the roo's will actually work to protect them, and the babies will generally stay near him! He is the finder of goodies after all.

    Its going to be tough this time, and he may never quite like them, but once they squat... well, boys will be boys, and he will get over it.

    Reset his little brain with a nice long holiday.... Could you maybe move everybody into a new stall? so everyone is off kilter a bit when you reintroduce him? Oh, and be sure to do it at night. Put him right up on the top shelves with the new girls late at night.... No lights, or even heat lights.... make them snuggle.

    Good Luck.
  9. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate your input!

    Glad I took Jericho out of the flock yesterday then.

    This is now Day 4 and the 3 new girls are still completely segregated by the flock girls, they are not allowed on the ground or they will be pecked and chased. It doesn't help that they are terrified and scream and run away at the slightest glance, they are not even trying to be part of the group. Poor things. They're not very strong in character. They just perch up high all day long, hungry and thirsty. I've set up 2 food stations but they won't go near them, only at night when the others have roosted for the night.

    Jericho is NOT happy to be stuck in a cage but I have to do what's best for everyone.

    *I* decide who lives with whom, not the birds!!

    Hopefully things will settle down with time, I've introduced many birds to the flocks before and this is the worst I've ever seen it, by far [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by