Will they ever get along?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sagenhoney, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. sagenhoney

    sagenhoney Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 22, 2012
    My original flock which now includes 13 hens and a rooster will not get along with the 4 new hens (their daughters).

    My first hatch of 12 ended up being more roos than anything, so since the hens are about a month away from 20 weeks old.....I decided to slowly incorporate them into the original coop.

    Beforehand the 4 hens were in their own mini-coop with the roos (their brothers). I think everything was going just fine. Sometimes they would escape to munch on some grass for a few minutes and members of the original flock would be near them. Some did nothing, others (the OGs [​IMG]) would do a lil peck here and there to establish authority.

    Getting Acquainted:

    We put the 4 hens in a separate and enclosed area within the original coop, with their own food and water for 2 days. The rest of the flock went free-ranging during the day and came back at night. The 3rd night we let new ones out, watched them for awhile, then checked on them in the morning.

    Basically the mothers and sometimes the roo will chase the 4 around and peck at them, but there is no serious damage or anything...they just get into lil spats...and the daughters then take refuge on the roost or in the nesting boxes.

    So now in the mornings, I let the original flock go ranging and leave the 4 hens to roam free throughout the coop and eat all the food they want. At night, when I go to let the flock back in...it seems the younger hens just want to get out in order to escape the bullying.

    What suggestions do you have? Should I let the 4 young ones leave to range also? Will they be safe enough in their own lil group?....Do you think they might eventually get to be included with the others once they roam around together?
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Keep the youngsters cooped up for a few more days before letting them also free range. That way they will learn where "home" is and return to the coop at night to roost.
    It sounds like a normal integration situation. Some bullying is to be expected unfortunately. They are new and need to be kept in their place, which is the bottom of the pecking order. Unless there is bloodshed it's best to leave them to it. They will sort themselves out and it is early days still.
    1 person likes this.
  3. sagenhoney

    sagenhoney Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks. I will try giving them some more time.
    Tomorrow we are supposed to get freezing rain, so I think they will all be staying in the coop. Maybe they can bond over that [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by