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Will he settle down with the new hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by char259, May 17, 2011.

  1. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Waynesboro
    I bought a roo and two hens who were housed in the same pen and they get along famously. But last week I bought home two new hens and 'Mr. Bill' is terrorizing them.

    So far I've tried....

    First day I let the roo and two hens out of the pen to free roam and let the new girls have 3 or 4 hours to get acquainted with the new pen, where the water and feed is as well as the nesting boxes. When I let the others back in the roo practically attacked the new girls - the Buff Orpington in particular. They flew up to the nesting boxes and stayed there all the rest of that afternoon and all night.

    The next morning I pushed them down from the nest and he attacked them again so I pinned him in a wire dog kennel (in the coop) so they could get down and get acquainted. Put him water and food in there. That afternoon I let him out again. Same thing.... he attacked.... the new girls flew up to the nest again and stayed there all night.

    I have let Mr. Bill out of the pen and forced the new girls down from the nest two days in a row now. They seem willing to be part of the flock as long as it's just the girls. They are still laying and letting the other girls into the nesting boxes so they can lay too.

    But the drama is thick as butter.

    What did I do wrong.... what can I do to help resolve this.... or can it be resolved without bloodshed?

    Will the roo have to go?

    The coop is a 10x10 dog kennel with a sun screen netting over the top. The pen itself is enclosed on three sides by a tin building. I think there is enough room for everybody. There are 7 nesting boxes. (only 6 were completed in the picture)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The two new girls:
    [​IMG]

    Help!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  2. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Waynesboro
    Here's the meany head "Mr. Bill" (Sorry - bad cell phone pix)
    [​IMG]

    Wanted to add he is not aggressive towards me or 'his' hens. Just the new girls.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  3. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Waynesboro
    Is it ok to bump a topic... I'm at my wits end!

    This morning it looks like the new girls are attempting to integrate with the flock but the roo is still very aggressive.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    :s
    I don't know...but maybe if you tossed in some distractions...some scratch...a head of cabbage...
    Sorry he's a crab apple.
    I've never had a rooster be angry about new hens...they usually don't care...more "fun" for them.
    The hens usually care...they are MEAN! xD
     
  5. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Waynesboro
    Thanks for the suggestion - I'll try anything!
     
  6. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    Chickens love distractions and Roo's love having something to say to everyone. "I found food, I found food, I found food" -obnoxious head bobbing and look of confusion-
    >_<
    Hopefully you find something that works!
    Poor girls.
     
  7. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    You should house new birds near not with your birds for a few weeks before trying to add to a flock. Let them hear, see each with no contact.

    (This is also very important for disease purposes. I hope your new hens are healthy!)
     
  8. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Waynesboro
    Thank you emys. I have so much to learn.

    All of the chickens were bought from the same farm - not that that matters. But I'm hoping it means they are all healthy since the first three were/are. I know with horses a quarantine period is always desirable. I'm working on getting a separate pen built for the newbies.

    I just wasn't able to get it done before these two new girls got here.

    char
     
  9. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If they were purchased from the same farm within a short period of time, then you should be OK without quarantine.

    It was then OK to try just putting them together...

    What has resulted is the hens already know each other and have previously worked out their dominance and are living together peacefully.

    Your rooster on the other hand is probably young, inexperienced (and stupid with hormones) and having finally gotten a territory of his own that he is happy with, is defending it against hens. [​IMG] Do you really want a rooster? You could get rid of him...he doesn't lay eggs.

    Can you house him apart for a week or so (crate at night and free range by day) and try re-introducing him? He will eventually accept the new hens if all left in the same pen, but it could stress all your hens to the point of not laying.

    Probably not practical, but, the fastest way to change his tune would be to leave all your birds together and borrow another rooster for a couple of days from the same farm. Put the new rooster in a small pen 30 feet away from your current pen, or let him free range outside. Chances are your rooster will defend those new girls from the intruder rooster and forget all about bullying them.

    Distractions are good - if you keep them all together give them lots of new things to explore - new foods, new dusting bin, grass clipping to dig through, cover treats with leaves and make them dig for them and so on.
     
  10. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Waynesboro
    Distractions i can handle! Will start working on that this afternoon when I get home from work.

    I'm sure we'll get through this first crisis and I really do appreciate all the suggestions!

    Thank you all so much.
     

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