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Old 06-08-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
pri01
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Default keeping chickens

I bought 4 chicks as babies and have recently had to get rid of 3 of them as they were cockerells.

I've since bought 2 point of lay chickens and brought them home yesterday and my original hen is being picked on.

They are all in the hen house tonight, but tomorrow when I let them out the lone hen will follow me everywhere and she prefers to stay indoors with me.

How can I get the hens to get along or should I just leave them to establish the pecking order in their own way? I hate seeing one of them not happy.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:57 PM   #2
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I bought 4 chicks as babies and have recently had to get rid of 3 of them as they were cockerells.

I've since bought 2 point of lay chickens and brought them home yesterday and my original hen is being picked on.

They are all in the hen house tonight, but tomorrow when I let them out the lone hen will follow me everywhere and she prefers to stay indoors with me.

How can I get the hens to get along or should I just leave them to establish the pecking order in their own way? I hate seeing one of them not happy.
i dont have chickens but i had birds for a few yrs, and it was common for birds to attack each other, this was usually over nesting areas and food...

it was common for some birds to get hurt and it was then needed to remove the victim.. lol...

ide keep a close eye on em to see if they settle!!!


regarding the cocks,,, you got rid??????? should have kept em and had a sunday kunch with em...
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:36 PM   #3
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My neighbour had 7 chickens then had another 5 dumped on her they all went in together and that day I learned the true meaning of pecking order. It looked bad at first but after 2 days they were all fine with no injuries... The eggs are amazing too
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Thank you for your replies. The new hens aren't bothered with my lone hen and it seems that she has the problem with them.

She kind of darts into the kitchen away from them and tends to stay indoors with me rather than pecking around outside. If they wander in, she scurries past me to hide in the living room.

She is scared of them but will have to deal with it. After all, they all sleep in the same coop which is pretty quiet at night so I think it's just a little adjusting that needs to happen. She is younger than the new girls so that maybe why.

The eggs are amazing though, they are a very good investment.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
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We've had a house chicken before! She just loved the house, the kitchen in particular! Chickens are freakin' fierce creatures. Pecking order doesn't really begin to describe the brutality, does it?

Flock integration is always tough. We bought some chicks (all pullets) once and raised them indoors in a brooder...we did this one time and will try never to do it again, because integrating these chicks into the flock was absolutely hellish. The chicks are by FAR the least adept when it comes to foraging and socially advocating for themselves. My other chickens (my heritage breeds in particular) are SO wonderful at finding their own food, they eat significantly less feed and make delicious eggs (which are also more nutritious and contain more omega's etc because of the buggies they eat) so really, it's a good thing to have birds which are more efficient foragers...I've got chickens who are frog hunters, even, and will work together to take pretty large frogs apart!

What we did recently,to replenish our laying flock after a brutal fox war, is this:

We waited until we had a cochin go broody, let her sit on eggs for a while. Then we ordered some chicks from a place I really like (5 pullet easter eggers, 2 EE roos, 2 buff orpinton pullets) - a mix which represents chickens we already have and we REALLY like - and we timed our order so the chicks arrived on the 20th day that the broody had been sitting...then, on the 20th night, we crept into the coop in the dead of night, removed the eggs from the nest, took the chicks (now three days old) and stuck them underneath her and in her wings, etc and then sprinkled various sizes of cracked eggshell pieces around the broody. We then set up some chick feed and water they could get to in there are closed that portion of the coop off (we have it set up so that portion can be gated off) and went back in the house.

The next morning, we went outside to find all the chicks doing very well and the mama hen keeping good care of them. After a few days being off to themselves, we opened the gate and let them out. They have all been out in the yard now for many days with the rest of the laying flock and all is going very well. There were only a few instances of another hen challenging any of the chicks or the mama and she very quickly put them in their place...she protects her chicks very well.

So, as far as flock integration is concerned, I've had LOUSY experience with introducing weeks old chicks to the mix, so-so/unfavorable exp with full grown chickens added to the mix (but I'll never do that again for bio-security reasons...too many risks involved with illness, etc), and REALLY terrific experience with letting a hen go broody and replenishing my flock with few day old chicks. I also see the chicks introduced this way being taught how to forage by their mother and believe that this is also a better way for the chicks to develop healthy immune systems.

So. That's been my experience with flock integration. I know a lot of people who really hate broodies...but I'll tell you, I will keep cochins as long as I keep a laying flock for the fact that I've seen them be such good broodies. Especially in my meat flock, I don't mind broodiness for the simple fact that to be truly self sufficient, well, you gotta have da babies! It is so much easier to cull/breed for standards which are important to you when you have lots of broodies.

Keep a good broody around...obviously it sucks to have TOO may broodies....but man, one or two (we actually had three hens this last time who all took turns sitting on this pile of eggs, so none of the brood hens went hungry) is just fine by me!
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Old 13-08-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
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Often, once a chicken is 'marked' as not being part of the flock - they will often be harassed until they die sadly - but it sounds like she is just scared - so she should be fine! As long as they don't peck at her!

Had this happen often on my farm as a child. Nothing you can do to protect it other than keep them apart - they are funny creatures!

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Old 13-08-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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Often, once a chicken is 'marked' as not being part of the flock - they will often be harassed until they die sadly - but it sounds like she is just scared - so she should be fine! As long as they don't peck at her!

Had this happen often on my farm as a child. Nothing you can do to protect it other than keep them apart - they are funny creatures!
She is marked, has been harassed and her health did deteriorate. They have pecked at her and her head comb looks hacked but we've made measures. My hub has created a bunk bed type creation in the house which means she has her own space and the bully girls have their own. She'll be fine. x x
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Old 13-08-2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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I bought 4 chicks as babies and have recently had to get rid of 3 of them as they were cockerells.

I've since bought 2 point of lay chickens and brought them home yesterday and my original hen is being picked on.

They are all in the hen house tonight, but tomorrow when I let them out the lone hen will follow me everywhere and she prefers to stay indoors with me.

How can I get the hens to get along or should I just leave them to establish the pecking order in their own way? I hate seeing one of them not happy.
You should have kept your cockerels for the pot.
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Old 13-08-2010, 10:07 PM   #9
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my girlfriend has just recently bought 4 chooks. and in the begining one was getting picked on quite alot. but now after a couple of weeks all is well now that they've established a pecking order
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Old 13-08-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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my girlfriend has just recently bought 4 chooks. and in the begining one was getting picked on quite alot. but now after a couple of weeks all is well now that they've established a pecking order
Are you saying you know your place now then
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Old 14-08-2010, 06:59 AM   #11
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Are you saying you know your place now then
most definately
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"ok, squirrels have lovely fluffy tails and can perform clever tricks to nick the food off your bird table. But they are a damn nuisance, there is plenty of them and they happen to be delicious, I say, lets eat them " HFW

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Old 18-08-2010, 07:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pri01 View Post
I bought 4 chicks as babies and have recently had to get rid of 3 of them as they were cockerells.

I've since bought 2 point of lay chickens and brought them home yesterday and my original hen is being picked on.

They are all in the hen house tonight, but tomorrow when I let them out the lone hen will follow me everywhere and she prefers to stay indoors with me.

How can I get the hens to get along or should I just leave them to establish the pecking order in their own way? I hate seeing one of them not happy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pri01 View Post
Thank you for your replies. The new hens aren't bothered with my lone hen and it seems that she has the problem with them.

She kind of darts into the kitchen away from them and tends to stay indoors with me rather than pecking around outside. If they wander in, she scurries past me to hide in the living room.

She is scared of them but will have to deal with it. After all, they all sleep in the same coop which is pretty quiet at night so I think it's just a little adjusting that needs to happen. She is younger than the new girls so that maybe why.

The eggs are amazing though, they are a very good investment.
Oh wow, lol. You too?

I bought 5 bantam chicks and I stated 3 times to the bloke I got them from that they MUST be hens. 4 of them turned out to be cockerels. One of my neighbours was going nuts over the crowing and I wanted them for their eggs anyway. I had to get rid of 3 of them and how I wish we hadn't named them after chicken meals
I have kept one cock, a real beautiful coloured cock as I didn't want chicken korma to be left on her own (my excuse anyway, lol)

How sweet that she likes to stay with you but it would be better if she could mix with the others. I had a hand-reared cockateil who would pine for me if I put her in the aviary and it wasn't right.
Yes I have discovered that birds are not the sweet little creatures I once thought, they will happily kill each others chicks just for a nesting box.
I hope she learns to stand her ground and not be afraid of them any more
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Old 18-08-2010, 01:01 PM   #13
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anyone got a basic design for a chicken coop?

i have room for a coop the size , 6' long x3' width 6' high. it needs to be mixed night time place to roost aswell as a caged area for daytime...

question?? will they be ok to roam around the garden in the day?

i want 4 clucks with no cocks as im in a built up area and people will complain of the noise.
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Old 18-08-2010, 02:05 PM   #14
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Chickens are great but they are rat magnets.
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Old 18-08-2010, 03:07 PM   #15
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Chickens are great but they are rat magnets.
its ok i got this...



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Old 18-08-2010, 03:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
want 4 clucks with no cocks as im in a built up area and people will complain of the noise
I am too bones but I really want to keep my cock. He was the quietest of the 4 and I have been round to ask the neighbours if it's ok. I LOVE the sound they make, but there again, it doen't wake me up a 5 in the morning

I am prepared to expect a knock on the door but it wasn't done on purpose.
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Old 18-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #17
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its ok i got this...



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Ah SuperTen, nice tool Sir !
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Old 18-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by bones View Post
anyone got a basic design for a chicken coop?

i have room for a coop the size , 6' long x3' width 6' high. it needs to be mixed night time place to roost aswell as a caged area for daytime...

question?? will they be ok to roam around the garden in the day?

i want 4 clucks with no cocks as im in a built up area and people will complain of the noise.
From http://poultryone.com/articles/housing.html

Minimum Space Requirements for Poultry
Type of Poultry Bird Sq Ft / Inside Coop Sq Ft / Outside in a Run

Layer Hens....................1.5-2..................................8

I have 5 hens in a 3'x6' (18 ft-sq = 3.6 ft per hen) coop with a 8'x9' (72 sq ft = 14.4 ft per hen) aviary-style caged henyard. They're okay in there, but I also let them run free in the back yard whenever I can.

Hens love to roam the garden, but they'll dig and scratch wherever they want, fling your prize petunias around, and eat the tender leaves off the veggies. But they'll eat the bugs up something fierce!
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Old 18-08-2010, 08:13 PM   #19
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I am too bones but I really want to keep my cock. He was the quietest of the 4 and I have been round to ask the neighbours if it's ok. I LOVE the sound they make, but there again, it doen't wake me up a 5 in the morning

I am prepared to expect a knock on the door but it wasn't done on purpose.
Will blackening his sleeping area off so daylight is delayed stop him from singing in the morning? My husband does that with his pigeons to fool them into breeding I think, it sends their body rhythm off sync.
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Old 18-08-2010, 08:20 PM   #20
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He was the quietest of the 4
I can believe this. My hens can get pretty loud with the "egg song." One of my hens, the Buff Chochin, is really talkative. She'll comment about everything from bugs to low-flying aircraft. Then there are the times when one hen is on the nest and the others are cheering her on.....
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