Pecking order advise pleeeease!

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Wozza1985
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Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by Wozza1985 » 12 Oct 2014, 15:38

Soo Hi I have three hybrids and have just purchased another 2 hybrids (light sussex & ranger) however I introduced them yesterday at dusk and it was awfull to watch, chasing the new hens all over the pen, pecking them till they had feathers In there beeks, they all went to bed fine then this morning the usual three came running out then the 2 new birds then bang they was on to them again??
Is this normal? :cry: :cry:

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kated
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Re: Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by kated » 12 Oct 2014, 18:43

Yes, quite normal, although you do need to keep an eye out for real damage (ie blood). If it really doesn't seem to be stopping after a few days, remove the original 3 hybrids to another pen for around a week to ten days to change the social dynamic (trendy words). You can help things along in the meantime by adding extra interest to the pen in the way of cabbage hung up to peck at, ditto sweetcorn cob, I used to shove in a sugar beet - they are very popular too, places for the tormented to hide behind and extra food pots so that everyone gets a chance.

Wozza1985
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Re: Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by Wozza1985 » 12 Oct 2014, 19:58

Right I see, what I've done is taken the most aggressive bird out and separated her for tonight is that the thing to do also?
Just awfull to see especially when one of the original Rangers jumps in its back and pecks the neck!

Hope they sort out..

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nigel
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Re: Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by nigel » 12 Oct 2014, 21:00

Introduction of new birds and the re establishment of a pecking order can be a traumatic thing to watch. Unless there is actual blood I think it is probably more disturbing for us to watch than the birds involved. Introduction in an evening is a good idea and often works as does the separation of the bully forcing them to become the 'outsider'

Prepare yourself however because sometimes despite all our tricks it takes two or three days of chasing and pecking before a new order is established and peace reigns once more.

Make sure you have both food and water spaced well apart so everyone can feed unmolested
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Re: Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by jillychick » 13 Oct 2014, 07:57

wazza i really feel for you, its horrible. ive done it three times now and each time it was a nightmare to watch, in my case it took at least 3 weeks every time for them to settle down so don't worry. i echo all the above advise and add- placing high perches in the run worked as it gives them somewhere to escape to, extra food and water stations is a must have, also if you can let them out the run as often as possible helps. make sure they have as much room as possible and have some purple spray handy in-case they draw blood good luck
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Wozza1985
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Re: Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by Wozza1985 » 13 Oct 2014, 19:24

Thank you all for the great Advise and help, while the existing three are in the pen the new hens hide in the coop! So best thing to do it just leave them to it?

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Re: Pecking order advise pleeeease!

Post by drfish » 14 Oct 2014, 11:20

Next time, rather than put the newbies in the run in the evening, wait until the existing girls have gone to bed, then put them straight into the coop. It's too dark for them to see what's happening, then everyone falls asleep, they wake up, and stupid is as stupid does, they seem to accept the newbies better like they were there all along. I've done around 6 introductions in varying numbers now, all using this method, and never seen an issue. You'll still get the odd bit of rough and tumble, but that a standard part of hen hierarchy.
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