Will they ever get along?

Discussion in 'Behavior & Flock Management' started by sagenhoney, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. sagenhoney

    sagenhoney New Member

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    Situation:

    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. dandmtritt

    dandmtritt Junior Member

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    I'm not a expert but I would say to let them range with the other birds, sounds like they are only with the larger group in the evening during roosting time. So maybe for them every day in the afternoon its like trying to get re-aquainted with the other birds which may mean more pecking. I've watched some pretty funny videos on You Tube of evening going to roost rituals and it seem like its a pretty brutal thing at time for the birds to get in the right order on the higher roosts. Chickens are definetly very interesting and I can't wait to get mine, once our coops done of course.
     

  3. sagenhoney

    sagenhoney New Member

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    Thanks, I will try that and give it a lil more time, although tomorrow they are all staying in together because we are due for freezing rain. Ughh.
     
  4. dandmtritt

    dandmtritt Junior Member

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    It may be good for them they have to establish that pecking order. Just remember if those chicks had hactched under their mama hen then she would have raised them in that flock and would have protected them and prevented that pecking a young age and they would have incorporated into that flock easier I believe.
     
  5. sagenhoney

    sagenhoney New Member

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    True.... And I would love to see that, but none of my hens are broody. Does anyone have RIR or NHs that are broody?
     
  6. Homegirl

    Homegirl New Member

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    I think giving them more time separated but in the coop works well. and yes, pecking is inevitable. Are they all roughly the same size? Size matters. i have introduced 2 sets of new chickens, the first set, adult 3 Golden Reds, caged in the coop for about a week. No problems integrating into the flock. Also a Polish roo (my other roo is a big ole boy) and a Salmon Faverolles, raised in a dog crate in the coop so they saw each other every day, from 3 days old. I put them all together at about 12 weeks. I read one thought that putting them together while the newbies were still a little smaller made it easier and for them it worked. The Polish and Faverolles hang together some and some with the group but all sleep together. The Polish roo used to get tossed off by the older, bigger girls when he tried to tread on them. But he is attempting to move up the food chain by sleeping next to each of the big girls in "pecking order", the other night finally made it to the side of the Queen Mother. Such a Playa...
     
  7. ChickenAdmin

    ChickenAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    When we introduce new birds to the flock we don't put them together at night, we have a separate coop. Then they forage at the same time but will branch out in separate groups. Then slowly over time they will combine at which point they go into the large coop together.
     
  8. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

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    And after they go to sleep at night, put them all on the same roost. They can just wake up and find each other there. Be close at hand in case it doesn't work! Do that every night until they get used to going up there on their own. :cool:
     
  9. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    I take a different approach to mixing. If I am adding peeps to an established adult flock I will have the peeps in the brooder for 3 weeks. After that during the day they go outside to a fenced area that is up against the adults fence. The hens can see the little peeps and get to know them. At 8 weeks the peeps go into the big girl coop at night and their own run during the day. They will separate themselves in the coop and the peeps will stay together.

    Around 12 to 14 weeks I will start letting the peeps out with the hens and back to the coop at night, in the beginning the hens may block the peeps from the coop, but I'm there at dusk to step in if I have to.

    If I have an adult hen or hens to mix into the flock, then I go about it in a similar way. I built a simple 4x5 foot pen that the new hens go in during the day, and at night they go into kitty carriers that I place in the coop. That way they can talk at night and in the morning, but during the day they are safe in a pen within the sight of the older hens. I do this for about 5 days, it's a pain, but I think it eases them into everything easier.

    Also, it's very hard to add just one hen at a time, it's an easier transition if there is at least three newbies. Three is a magic number with chickens!
     
  10. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Boy is that true. Although I was able to add this one Silkie hen, kept the two red Silkie babies separate and together only under supervision, and the two crazy Roos in cages not mixing until they calm down enough that I can predict their behavior and they're not so nutty.
     
  11. swcakes

    swcakes New Member

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    I have two chickens who are bullies and peck even attack the other chickens not sure what to do to stop the behavior and suggestions would be great
     
  12. Homegirl

    Homegirl New Member

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    How old is everyone and how long have they been together? Time certainly helps and equal size helps....Sometimes some are just bullies and if no one challenges them, they will just keep doing it. Do they have ample room? Just asking. Their societal structure can be pretty rigid!:D
     
  13. piglett

    piglett Senior Member

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    if i have a couple of birds that always make trouble for the rest of the flock i either sell them off of they go to camp


    piglett
     
  14. swcakes

    swcakes New Member

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    They are all different sizes and the newest ones are the bullies they are able to free range when I'm home but still have a great size area when I'm not
     
  15. piglett

    piglett Senior Member

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    can we get a picture of the flock?
     
  16. farmhand

    farmhand Junior Member

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    Do they get counseling at camp?
     
  17. swcakes

    swcakes New Member

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    Ya ill take one tomorrow I'm not at home now so I will work on it later
     
  18. piglett

    piglett Senior Member

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    they get a bunch of parts removed & after they get washed off they are put in a nice big ziplock bag. after that they just chill out :D