Yikes re-integration troubles

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by socks, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. socks

    socks Songster

    201
    1
    119
    Apr 12, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    o.k. a coon attacked awhile ago and I had to separate some birds from the rest of the flock. A roo with some missing toes and a meek little one that had a minor hurt but people said good to keep two together for re-integration.

    The other birds luckily stayed at a friends empty coop (and bonus, his grandson fell in love with a roo so they are keeping two roos-I had 4 out of 7 birds).

    So the two home birds have been in the coop and run for only a few days and each time I have had to trick them into the coop at night and shut the door. Last night there was a scuffle and in the morning I saw that the roo had a kind of 'neck noogy' (not open wound but red) below the ear so she must've given that to him.

    Today i brought the other 2 hens and started them out on the other side of the run (the rabbit hutch coop is surrounded by a hoop house caging so coons can't even breath on them) in the coop area while the others were in the regular attached run. Everything seemed to go swimmingly but I didn't feel it is safe to leave the girls there overnight as it is 1" hardware cloth and a coon could reach through (he did with the 1/2 cloth and chewed the toes).

    So I put them together but my roo, whom up until now I have adored for his mild mannered nature did a Jekyll and Hyde on me and kept them away from food and pecked them and such. o.k. i know this is to be expected but these two hens are used to a crowd and they were happy to bed down with them but the roo chased them away. As it got darker things were still getting ugly and I didn't see them ending up happily in the coop tonight so........I made a decision based on the fact that I would prefer to have hens over a rooster and put him in the iffy caged area.
    I still don't know if the 3 hens will end up in the coop together, the new ones are used to roosting so they seem to be interested in the coop. We left because we felt us being there was confusing the issue as our home hen was hanging around where we were.

    So.....I have a couple of problems, mainly I suppose not having a super secure area for everyone and no one being really used to the coop. I feel that the coop is too small to have done the 'lock them in for 2 or 3 days thing' in this heat we have been having. (it is 16 sq. ft. but only a few feet high so even with an open floor and a shade over it the heat builds up. Our run is extra large to compensate.

    o.k. this is pretty garbled, sorry but I'm wondering if I did the right thing separating the roo. The other home hen is a little bossy but o.k. and the new two don't seem to have ganged up on her. I guess this was hasty trying to do this in one evening but I am now realizing people seem to have spare coops or the like (our chicken tractor isn't secure and wouldn't fit into the run but......maybe that dog kennel cage I got from the recycle center would be a more secure place to keep someone.....but who????? [​IMG]

    if anyone can follow this ramble and give me some advice I would be obliged, it is now quite dark so I'm going to see if anyone has chosen the coop.
     
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    1,901
    24
    176
    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Okay I admit I had a hard time following the whole coop and run situation. Can you divide the run in half, give the roo and hen one half, and the others on the other side for a while? Put a bottom or whatever you have to do to make the "cage" predator proof for the other birds (or make a mini-coop if they do not have one). If they have a few days, or even 2 weeks, to settle down and get to know each other again, I bet they will get along a lot better. I built about 4 coops shuffling my chickens around, what a PITA, but they are getting along now.
     
  3. socks

    socks Songster

    201
    1
    119
    Apr 12, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    yes, sorry chookchick, if you look at my byc page 2 coop and run you see the original set up, then when the coon attacked from underneath the rabbit hutch we just continued the hole hoop house/hardware cloth thing covering the coop too but the two sections are separated by a hardware cloth wall. (and by the way replaced all the zip ties with j-clips)

    I just came back from seeing the best case scenario I guess as the 3 hens (two new and home hen) were all roosting close together in the coop (yay!!!! they taught her this as she was thinking of sleeping in the run) and the rooster managed to get himself up on the coop so he is not in danger of coons.

    I am hoping that I can just put them together in the run tomorrow or....I do have that folding dog kennel which I could put in the run with the rooster in it?????

    any ideas????
    will post pictures of finished coop and run soon.
     
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    1,901
    24
    176
    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    When you put them together in the run, put lots of large "objects", things that they can run around, get onto, underneath, etc.. so they can get away from each other--out of sight line helps a lot. This will also throw the bullies off just a bit, so they might be a bit more accommodating. Give them lots of scratch, and a pile of mulch or compost to dig through and keep them busy. If you can get through a day without a bloody injury, you should be good to go. Good luck!
     
  5. socks

    socks Songster

    201
    1
    119
    Apr 12, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    Thanks chookchick
    Just an update in case anyone else searches this subject (because in searches I often notice we don't hear how things worked out)

    All is well now, I did end up separating the roo for a couple of days. It was just a hardware cloth between them and he ended up roosting on top of the coop. The good thing is that after the two new girls taught the home girl to roost in the coop at night when they all got together this influenced him to go in there too.
    Yay!!! [​IMG] I gave them a celebratory breakfast treat of yogurt and scratch and was happy to see that while there is clearly one that is lower on the totem pole (Nefertiti, I think she's too much of a glamour girl for him) everyone was able to snack together in peace.

    Next step is setting up the hammock so we can really chill with them.
     
  6. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    2,156
    56
    218
    Jun 21, 2009
    Jacksonville
    Do you think maybe it was more like the roo was trying to establish dominance?

    I have no experience with roos - mine is 3 weeks old today and he will have 5 girls to hang out with.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    17,741
    3,306
    471
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Glad to hear everything worked out.
     
  8. socks

    socks Songster

    201
    1
    119
    Apr 12, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    Quote:Yes, quite likely but since I couldn't be there all the time to make sure it didn't get bloody I wanted to introduce them more slowly as he was displaying aggression that I had never seen before.

    He is still preferring, protecting his original companion and occasionally chasing poor Nefertiti but I don't fear bloodshed and most of their time is spent companionably.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: