Chicken Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just added 7 new chickens to the "flock" and we purchased a large coop to accommodate all the chickens (11 total). The problem is that the older chickens are hogging the food and the newer ones yesterday seemed scared to go in the coop while the others were in there and it was pouring outside. I didn't know what to do:(. They took shelter under the coop and when they got a little more courage the went in together, but not for a long time. I understand there has to be a pecking order, but I have read that some birds can peck another to death! The new ones are greater in number (7 to 4) but they are smaller and scared of the leghorns (the others are RIR). I want to know how to get them to live peacefully and if I should be concerned about them being in the same coop. Thanks in advance!
 

·
A Round American Woman
Joined
·
735 Posts
Yes, you need to introduce slowly. It's an art form in itself!

Also, maybe put out two feeders, so the older flock and the younger flock don't have to share. I went through quite a lot of drama when I bought 6 new peeps the year after I bought my first peeps. They just didn't want to merge and stayed two separate flocks, even though I was careful with introducing. I had two feeders, I had to add another roost inside the coop and as soon as the doors were open they went in two separate directions. They never merged, just tolerated each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Apyl said:
Did you quarentine you new members, introduce them slowly, or just throw them all in the pen ?
I had the leghorns in the old coop, one I built that was smaller. And the RIR I kept in the new larger coop, locales in for a little less then a week. After that I unlocked it and let them come out and free range, they came out slowly. But the two flocks stayed pretty separate still sleeping in separate coops and eating as well.

I've had them few about a month now and this is my first attempt at leaving the small coop (one that I eventually want to get rid of because it's not holding up anymore) closed and leaving only the big coop open for both flocks to be in. I wasn't expecting it to go perfectly, just wanted some advice to make it easier for them. Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
I had the leghorns in the old coop, one I built that was smaller. And the RIR I kept in the new larger coop, locales in for a little less then a week. After that I unlocked it and let them come out and free range, they came out slowly. But the two flocks stayed pretty separate still sleeping in separate coops and eating as well.

I've had them few about a month now and this is my first attempt at leaving the small coop (one that I eventually want to get rid of because it's not holding up anymore) closed and leaving only the big coop open for both flocks to be in. I wasn't expecting it to go perfectly, just wanted some advice to make it easier for them. Thanks
As long as blood is not being drawn I would let them get their pecking order in place. If there is issues during feeding I would feed in two places so the newbies have a chance to eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Roslyn said:
Yes, you need to introduce slowly. It's an art form in itself!

Also, maybe put out two feeders, so the older flock and the younger flock don't have to share. I went through quite a lot of drama when I bought 6 new peeps the year after I bought my first peeps. They just didn't want to merge and stayed two separate flocks, even though I was careful with introducing. I had two feeders, I had to add another roost inside the coop and as soon as the doors were open they went in two separate directions. They never merged, just tolerated each other.
Thanks Roslyn, I am learning that it is quite an art form! I usually was putting two feeders and waterer but I just wanted them to be all under one roof. The new coop is munch bigger, sturdier and safer, protects them from elements better, etc. I also have goats that absolutely go nuts for the chicken feed, but it can make them really sick so leaving food out is not an option as they run together in the same yard. The only place that can get into is the larger chicken coop cuz I've rigged it to not allow them in. It would just be easier for everyone if they could all handle their business in there.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
I have just added 7 new chickens to the "flock" and we purchased a large coop to accommodate all the chickens (11 total). The problem is that the older chickens are hogging the food and the newer ones yesterday seemed scared to go in the coop while the others were in there and it was pouring outside. I didn't know what to do:(. They took shelter under the coop and when they got a little more courage the went in together, but not for a long time. I understand there has to be a pecking order, but I have read that some birds can peck another to death! The new ones are greater in number (7 to 4) but they are smaller and scared of the leghorns (the others are RIR). I want to know how to get them to live peacefully and if I should be concerned about them being in the same coop. Thanks in advance!
well you have already mixed them together.....so
double up of feeders & waterers
with just 1 feeder the birds will guard it because that is their only source of food. by adding a 2nd feeder even a homemade one everyone will relax a little. you can also lock them all into the coop for the next 2 weeks
they will all have to learn how to get along.

good luck
piglett
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
piglett said:
well you have already mixed them together.....so
double up of feeders & waterers
with just 1 feeder the birds will guard it because that is their only source of food. by adding a 2nd feeder even a homemade one everyone will relax a little. you can also lock them all into the coop for the next 2 weeks
they will all have to learn how to get along.

good luck
piglett
I I do have separate feeders so I'm hoping everyone is getting their "fair share". I thought about locking them in together but was afraid someone will get pecked to death.

Thanks piglett
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
I I do have separate feeders so I'm hoping everyone is getting their "fair share". I thought about locking them in together but was afraid someone will get pecked to death.

Thanks piglett
i would say lock them up & keep watch for a day or 2
after that the drama should be over.
how old are the new birds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice. I took a little bit if everyones. I did lock them up together for a few days while keeping an eye on them. I started feeling sorry for them after a few days and let them out....BUT, it did help a lot! Yes, they are not BFFs but, they have established a semi civil relationship and pecking order.

Thanks again for the help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I am also introducing new pullets to an established flock. Funny thing is, the new chicks are doing fine, sort of "living on the fringe" of the older hens' group, but three of my 2-year-old hens have decided that they want to beat the crap out of one of their own. I ended up putting her in my introductory coop by herself, where she seems quite happy.
Yesterday I bought a huge block of grain at the feed store, sort of a compressed block of sweet feed, and put it in the coop, hoping to provide a distraction so that I could let my meek hen out. It worked for a while, but she made the mistake of flinching when another hen walked by and that was enough to trigger a chicken dogpile. She's back in her private suite again.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
I am also introducing new pullets to an established flock. Funny thing is, the new chicks are doing fine, sort of "living on the fringe" of the older hens' group, but three of my 2-year-old hens have decided that they want to beat the crap out of one of their own. I ended up putting her in my introductory coop by herself, where she seems quite happy.
Yesterday I bought a huge block of grain at the feed store, sort of a compressed block of sweet feed, and put it in the coop, hoping to provide a distraction so that I could let my meek hen out. It worked for a while, but she made the mistake of flinching when another hen walked by and that was enough to trigger a chicken dogpile. She's back in her private suite again.
remove just 1 of the old nasty hens. put her in the private suite alone. also try adding a second feeder in the main coop
your older hens might feel that they have to guard "their feeder"
adding another may calm them down. what has happened it the packing order has now changed. if you try everything & still nothing works rehome one of the old girls her laying days are numbered anyhow.

good luck
piglett
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
remove just 1 of the old nasty hens. put her in the private suite alone. also try adding a second feeder in the main coop
your older hens might feel that they have to guard "their feeder"
adding another may calm them down. what has happened it the packing order has now changed. if you try everything & still nothing works rehome one of the old girls her laying days are numbered anyhow.

good luck
piglett
I'm glad you said that because I was thinking the same thing. I added a new feeder in the corner of the integrated run of the big coop. I thought maybe I should leave my Australorp in the mini coop for a few more days to fatten up and recover, then move all three meanies in there and let her out with the pullets and the one hen who didn't bother her. My New Hampshire Red seems to be the instigator. Do you think I should just move her or all three into the mini coop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
The most dominant one would probably do and maybe another water somewhere but food is most important web my hen was being nasty I would stick a dog cage in there and shut her up for a while she stopped being so nasty after that I also got some more hens to take her down a peg it would be helpful to get more pullets?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
yup as Rain said just move the alpha hen
moving her out for a few days or even a week changes the pecking order
the new bird will have a chance to find her place.

i added a new silkie today to my silkie coop
she is a small hen & as soon as i added her 1 hen took to pecking her non stop
the little hen was in the corner head down & the other would just not let up
she must have pecked her 30 or 40 times in 5 min. time & just wouldn't let up !!!
so i removed the bird that was doing the pecking
i turned her upside down & put her up under my arm (she was not very happy with me doing that)
i walked all around the yard for a while
then i put her back in the coop
guess what......... she didn't feel like pecking anyone after that treatment :)
i in no way hurt her but i'm sure i hurt her feelings some ....he he he
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
That "living on the fringe" is the normal and expected behavior of younger birds in an older, established flock. If given plenty of room and ways to avoid the older hens, nothing bad should happen from it. They will learn to politely wait their turn at the feeder, waterer and in roosting situations...and they should learn it or they will continue to get pecked~hence the term "pecking order".

Eventually they will move up through the ranks and one day they will be pecking the same birds that are now pecking them, as time, age, and fertility changes the whole flock dynamics day by day.

I've never given special feeders or waterers to DP birds unless they are 2 wks old or younger ,or if there are CX mixed in the layer flock...CX can dominate the feeder by sheer numbers and they don't care if they get hurt..bad hurt. They will just continue to eat, eat and eat, so they get their own feeder out of sheer necessity and because they are soon to be butchered anyway.

My advice is to give them plenty of ways to avoid older hens and let the natural order of things just happen. If they are smart, they will learn the order, if they are not, who would want them in the flock? If they aren't you'll always be setting up some system or other for the dumb, weak flock members over the years, nursing wounds, asking on forums, mourning the wounds, illnesses, etc., when it's just more expedient and less stressful~for the flock, the bird and for you~ to eliminate the weaker, dumber animals from the flock.

The whole flock benefits from removing these weak birds~ it is pure instinct for the stronger animals to try to isolate or drive away the weaker, sick, dumb flock members...in the wild they are a danger to the flock and attract predators. That instinct doesn't change just because they are in a backyard pen.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
Yep! Every year I do a cull of non layers and those who do not fit into a good flock matrix. Hens that are consistently cranky towards me or other flock members are on the list, as are those who are loners and are obviously unliked by the flock~the flock can tell you wisdom if you but listen, those that eat too much and lay too little, those who are too old to lay or defend their place in the flock, extra roosters, those who do not maintain good appearance or conditioning on the same husbandry methods as the others do, etc.

As a result I have a calm, quiet, healthy, productive and intelligent flock that causes me absolutely no stress, earns their feed and my time spent on them and live in peace with one another. It's sublime and takes raising chickens to a whole other level of proficiency and cost management, while insuring the health and peace of the flock. I have no illnesses, few intentional injuries, no picking on other birds, no fighting...just calm and lovely bird life strolling over the lawn.

Who wouldn't want that? :)
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
Yep! Every year I do a cull of non layers and those who do not fit into a good flock matrix. Hens that are consistently cranky towards me or other flock members are on the list, as are those who are loners and are obviously unliked by the flock~the flock can tell you wisdom if you but listen, those that eat too much and lay too little, those who are too old to lay or defend their place in the flock, extra roosters, those who do not maintain good appearance or conditioning on the same husbandry methods as the others do, etc.

As a result I have a calm, quiet, healthy, productive and intelligent flock that causes me absolutely no stress, earns their feed and my time spent on them and live in peace with one another. It's sublime and takes raising chickens to a whole other level of proficiency and cost management, while insuring the health and peace of the flock. I have no illnesses, few intentional injuries, no picking on other birds, no fighting...just calm and lovely bird life strolling over the lawn.

Who wouldn't want that? :)
Bee i am glad you have joined us here on the "CF"
i have a sunrise orpington who is unliked by my rooster
i know she is unliked due to the fact that all the other hens are missing their back feathering the sunrise has all of hers.
maybe come fall she should joing the "freezer crew" :D
i would probably get less clear eggs when hatching.

piglett
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top