New chickens

Discussion in 'Behavior & Flock Management' started by AmyandAlan, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. AmyandAlan

    AmyandAlan New Member

    11
    0
    0
    Hi all

    A week or so ago we got two chickens and new rim and house etc. we set them up and fenced off a large section of garden for them to free range in. We have now added two more hens. At night they are fine no problems at all even sleep together in one nesting box. Our problem is during the day ginger chances the two new hens all the time. If they go into the coop or near he food she charges at them and there is a lot of noise and violent feather pulling. We have added extra feeders and there is plenty of ro and lots of hiding places but the fighting won't stop. Does this souls like them sorting pecking order out and if so how long does it take?
     
  2. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    3
    0
    It sounds like bullying to me. I'd give that hen a time out but what do I know. Let's see what the experts tell us.
     

  3. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

    735
    0
    0
    Did you introduce the hens slowly? Or just plop them together. Since there are only 4 total chickens one has decided to really take it out on the other. You may have to have separate quarters where they can see each other, but not attack.

    Sometimes one just does NOT like another and will bully them endlessly, usually it settles down. If one hen is obviously different from the others, that can have issues. It would be interesting to watch this play out.

    I have found though, if you only have a few hens, it's best to raise them all from young peeps, it's tougher to mix hens when they don't have large numbers. They get their cliques going pretty young, just like "Mean Girls" in human teens.
     
  4. AmyandAlan

    AmyandAlan New Member

    11
    0
    0
    thanks for the replies

    we are introducing them slowly. they are happy to sleep together at night its just doing the day that they get a bit naughty. today has been much better it seems like they are now only having arguments when feeding or going into nesting boxes. We have added more feeders and I am making another nesting box for them to use. we are also making there are larger and put in things like tunnel and hoop to give them some distraction. They seems to love the tunnel and hoop lol.

    i am beginning to think this is just them sorting the pecking order out and i am worrying to much as never seen a chicken argue. we make sure that there is no injuries being caused and all the birds seem healthy. while things are slowly improving i think we will just keep an eye on them and step in if they get out of control or start injuring each other.
     
  5. 7chicks

    7chicks New Member

    3,192
    0
    0
    Last time around, I used a squirt bottle. Got the attention of the bully. After a couple days of that and the bullying pretty much stopped. My Barred Rocks are brutal to any newbies. They're still occasionally brutal to my Astralorp and she's been with them since May of last year! (They're a year older than her.)
     
  6. AmyandAlan

    AmyandAlan New Member

    11
    0
    0
    The chickens are now settled in together and the bullying has stopped. Next thing to ask is rabbits. We have two rabbits that are very friendly and the chickens have made it their mission to chase the rabbits around the garden and drink all their water. Is this the same thing? Just showing the rabbits who's boss?
     
  7. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    3
    0
    I would guess. Both species are pretty much prey species. Chickens just fight back a little. Bunnies just fall over and die of they can't run. Bully Chickens, sheesh!
     
  8. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

    735
    0
    0
    Chickens do have a territory and will chase out invaders. They are prey creatures, yet still predators.

    My first flock loved to hang out under the Peach tree where the bird feeders were. They would clean up any spilled sunflower seed. Well, when the Blue Jays came my rooster Rudy would go N*U*T*S. They would fly to a branch just above his head and he would cackle and jump up in the air, flap his wings and raise his hackles at them. It was a lot of fun to watch.

    The flock would get together and chase any frog, mouse, rat, mole, groundhog etc.

    However, when the lone Turkey Hen wandered through the yard one morning (probably nesting nearby), the hens ignored her, but Rudy the rooster's eyes bugged out and he followed her through the yard. I always thought if he had a caption over his head it would be "How can I get some of THAT?"