Worried

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sheritza, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Sheritza

    Sheritza New Egg

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    I just interduced 5 more chickens to my flock. Now all 5 of the new chickens will not come down from the coop. They get chased and even pecked on if they do. I have a 13x13 cabin with the coop and a 10x10 play area. I can not extend the coop nor can I allow them to free range. I have dogs. Advise on how to help them get along?
     
  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well first of all you need to quarantine new chickens for a month or longer new chickens carry diseases that can be fatal to the original flock.Second off new chickens need to be separated from the others ones for two weeks or more.If you keep them together they will kill each other.Section off there coop with wire and put the new ones in it so they cant peck each other.What really concerns me is how small your coop/space is for them.Im not trying to be mean in anyway but i wound t be surprised if your new chickens brought a disease that will be fatal to your old flock.


    Chickens are very territorial and will kill new comers.Where did you get these new chickens?

    Read this- https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  3. Sheritza

    Sheritza New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2016
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    I know they don't have anything harmful. That has already been chexked. I did keep the separate for a week. Can't do anything to my coop. A the research I done shows that I have plenty of room. Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi there @Sheritza :frow

    Sorry to hear your introduction has not been successful yet. As you were able to keep them seperate for a week could you do this again? When they were seperate could they see each other like through the wire?

    I have found the see but don't touch method very good and it has limited the squabbling when they do actually get in together ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

    Fingers crossed with more time they will get along harmoniously.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
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  5. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens can have a disease for a month with no symptoms.As i said before im not trying to be mean.Also you do have enough space.Its just its kinda small so they can bully each other easier.I would buy a pecking block to keep them entertained.Going off by your original post i though you just got chickens and threw them in there.Sometimes it takes longer than a week for them to get used to each other.What i do is i put one chicken in there space so they can say hello and get to know each other.I do hope they will get along soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    What you are experiencing is typical chicken behavior. Don't beat yourself up for not quarantining. Most backyard chicken keepers don't have the space or facilities to do so anyway. To properly quarantine, you need to keep them 100'-300' apart, with the new chickens being downwind from the established flock. You need different feeding and watering stations and equipment, and should change clothes and shoes between tending to each flock (taking care of established flock first). Besides, you've already put them together, so quarantine is a moot point. One other thing to consider. Sometimes birds are carriers of disease, and don't show symptoms. You don't know they have anything until your flock is exposed.

    Now that we have that covered, let's talk about how many chickens you had before adding 5 more to them. (If you mentioned it, I didn't see that) The 4 sq feet per chicken is a minimum recommendation. Integration takes some maneuvering and extra space is helpful. Can you post pictures of your coop and run? Something that is helpful in the run is to put up some hiding places. Lean plywood or pallets against the wall of the coop so a chicken can get out of sight. Leave both ends open, though, so a bird can't get trapped. Pallets on cement blocks can help, too. All flocks have a hierarchy. When a dominant bird pecks a subordinate bird, it's best if the subordinate can get out of sight of the dominant one. If they can't, the "boss" will think the other one isn't showing proper respect. Could be your 5 have no safe places to go.

    How old are the chickens you added? How about the ones you already had? As long as a bird isn't being bullied to the point of blood being drawn, I'd let them work it out.
     
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  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You just need to give it time.

    New birds being treated this way is totally normal. It will take maybe a few weeks for them to be comfortable in the flock. there's really nothing you can do except maybe provide more distractions for the flock, so they don't focus on the newbies so much.

    I see this all the time when I move birds around. If the new birds are roughly the same age/size as the established flock, just let things ride. They'll figure out how to get enough food and water, although it does help if you have at least two stations for each. the only time to intervene would be if a bird gets ganged up on and cornered, unable to run away and is being pecked relentlessly. But chasing, pecking and running away, things like that--it's all what the newbies just get to live with while everyone figures out how to get along.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good post.
    Great questions that need to be answered......especially how many birds total.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The most overlooked issue when integrating new chickens into a flock is access to food and water. it's critical for new chickens to get enough to eat and drink if they are to be able to buck the pecking order and adjust.

    Typically, established flock members will make it their mission to bully new comers away from feeders and water. You need to place extra food and water, therefore, in a spot that is safe from this bullying.

    Something as simple as placing the food and water on top of an old card table can accomplish this goal. It can also afford a safe place for the new comers to relax.

    All that said, if we could know how old these new five are and how many in the existing flock, it would help in tailoring our advice better to fit your needs.
     
  10. MasAhora

    MasAhora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 3 pullets raised beside the flock with wire fence between. Mama decided she was done and escaped to the flock, so they stayed separate until around 16 weeks. It still took weeks for them to be accepted and I had to make several food stations and always waited in the pen until I saw them getting food. They're still pretty timid even after freezer camp day saw the older flock members reduced. I've learned chickens can be kinda mean and that was one reason I reduced numbers in the main coop/pen....more space and a new pecking order. So far so good, another mama and her 12 week chick are doing well with the reduced flock. Fortunately BYC members helped me understand flock integration and the need for patience[​IMG].
     

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