Jump to content

HELP - older chickens picking on new chickens.


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Madeline's Mum

Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:53 PM

Hello, I am in need of some help. We have had 2 Isa Brown chickens since late September. Yesterday morning we purchased 2 more Isa Browns and the older hens are picking on the new ones sad.gif

They have plenty of space, lots of water and food (pellets as well as scraps) and a big coop.

Just now we noticed that one of the new hens has a huge bunch of feathers missing from under/to the rear of her right wing, it's a bit bloody and she is limping, I think she needs to be put down sad.gif

Even as my husband was holding her to show me, one of the older hens came charging at her and going crazy at her neck.

Is this normal territorial behaviour? Will they get used to each other or keep picking on one another? The two older hens never had an issue with each other..

Any advice warmly appreciated, thanks!

ETA - the older hens were 18 weeks when we got them (so around 42 weeks) and the new hens are just 18 weeks. Purchased from the same farm.

Edited by Madeline's Mum, 06 January 2013 - 06:55 PM.


#2 FiveAus

Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:57 PM

Yes, it's normal, especially for Isa Browns who can be very aggressive towards other hens. Separate them so they can see each other but not get to each other. Put the new ones in an aviary, large wire crate or some other sort of enclosure next to the current hen house.

#3 MissingInAction

Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

I've never had chooks but my aunties & uncles do and I remember them talking about exactly this.  From my understanding of it, it is completely normal, territorial behaviour and should calm down within a few weeks.  They'll pick on the new ones to suss them out, toughen them up, remind them where there place is and all the rest and then, once they've "passed" their initiation they'll be nice to them and they should get along original.gif

#4 greatwon2

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

Normal chook behavior , just watch they don't go over board ..they can and will kill other chickens on occasion ..tho i have found that often they will only do that if that particular chook is a bit off colour so i think its a survival thing to take out the weak/sick ones - hopefully they sort out their pecking order soon for you ..it can be distressing to watch , especially if your quite fond of your chooks.

#5 noi'mnot

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Yes it's normal, and particularly bad with Isa Browns. You need to isolate the injured bird immediately, because they may kill it once they realise how vulnerable it is. sad.gif

Technically, you should quarantine any new birds for at least a couple of weeks to make sure they don't have any bugs that may be introduced to your flock. Then, you let them get to know each other gradually, start with through a wire fence and slowly work up to being in the same physical space.

#6 whale-woman

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

Chooks will peck at blood and continue to do so till they kill a wounded bird. Get the injured bird separate. Put it in a hospital cage.
Keep an eye on the other new one. Chooks will establish an'pecking order.'' Their behavior should settle down in a few days. If the injured one recovers once it's healed reintroduce it keeping an eye on preceedings.

#7 FiveAus

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Treat the injuries with warm salt water and Betadine. She will probably be OK, but please don't let them keep hurting her.

#8 greatwon2

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:06 PM

oppse somehow missed that one of them is injured
QUOTE
You need to isolate the injured bird immediately, because they may kill it once they realise how vulnerable it is


I second this, if its injured they most likely will keep going for the poor thing

#9 melaine

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 06/01/2013, 07:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, it's normal, especially for Isa Browns who can be very aggressive towards other hens. Separate them so they can see each other but not get to each other. Put the new ones in an aviary, large wire crate or some other sort of enclosure next to the current hen house.



We had similar when we added some isa browns. The hen that got badly pecked survived and is fine now. I thought we would need to put it down (all the advice I read said they'd kill it but luckily that didn't).

When we added some australorps we kept them separate in a large cage for a couple of weeks. They are all together now and while they are still working out the 'pecking order' they are getting along ok now.

#10 mokeydoke

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

I googled after this happened to our chooks, and the advice was to put the new ones in during the dark of night, which we did. When they all woke up it was like the new ones had been there all along. I set my alarm for the pre-dawn hours to check on them and again when I first woke.

#11 ubermum

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

It's called 'establishing the pecking order'. You see the same behaviour in the school ground and on eb.

#12 Madeline's Mum

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

We seperated her immediately, as soon as we realised she was hurt. I will wash her wounds with warm water and betadine now, thanks for the tip.

We introduced them slowly yesterday, had them seperated and when they seemed ok we put them in the same pen.

The other new hen seems ok, no injuries.

#13 asdf89

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

Agree with PPs - this is where the phrase 'pecking order' comes from. Chooks can be quite cruel while trying to sort it out.

Our chook pen could be divided in two (simply with an additional section of chicken wire) so new chooks could be eye-balled by the old ones. Keep the new girls separate until they recover (but still within view of the others) and then try to re-introduce them.

#14 Kalota

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:15 PM

It's completely normal behaviour, chickens have a very strong sense of a pecking oder (literally). Last ear we introduced some new chickens to our batch and the older chickens picked on them and constantly pecked them/stood on them etc sad.gif

A little trick that we were told was to rub Vicks Vapor Rub on the little chickens that were getting pecked - it worked for ours, the peckers mustn't like the smell or taste of the Vicks!

#15 ~*Amethyst*~

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Separate them & quickly. We used to just let ours sort themselves out but after losing one lot to the pecking order & having an escapee cannabalised,  we now just run a wire fence between the old & the new chooks & introduce one old chook in with the newbies for a week & so on.

They can be nasty critters!

XxxAmethyst

Edited by ~*Amethyst*~, 06 January 2013 - 07:59 PM.


#16 kadoodle

Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

QUOTE (ubermum @ 06/01/2013, 08:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's called 'establishing the pecking order'. You see the same behaviour in the school ground and on eb.


ROFL




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How to talk about your pregnancy at work

The workplace isn't always a friendly place for pregnant women. Yet working women inclined to conceal a pregnancy from prying coworkers may be better off opening up and carrying on, according to a new study.

Tell us your story to win!

To celebrate Mother's Day this year we are giving you the chance to win one of five great prizes simply by telling us your story.

Where to get help to help your baby sleep

There is so much pressure about having a baby who sleeps 'all night' , it's no wonder you worry about your baby if she wakes in the night.

Vintage baby names having a comeback

What makes some names have comebacks while others silently fade into oblivion? A few factors come into play.

When your partner doesn't want you to breastfeed

Dads can have many reasons for not wanting their partners to breastfeed their baby, but both parents should learn more about it before making a final decision.

Model mum Sarah Stage shares post-baby selfie

Most new mums would recoil at the thought, but Sarah Stage has shared a post-pregnancy selfie just four days after giving birth.

I'll admit it: I have last child parenting fatigue

If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.

Exhaustion is not the same as tiredness

Having a new baby isn't tiring - it can be downright exhausting.

Five posterior babies, four home births

I was on a high. I'd done it all by myself with no help from anyone.

Mum's list of birthday gift demands goes viral

We're big fans of kids' birthday parties - but this is one bash we're glad we didn't get an invite to.

Kate Middleton to receive 'loyalty discount' for second birth

Everybody loves a bargain - including the Duchess of Cambridge.

Fish & chip shop owner's sad note goes viral

A lengthy note put on the window of a fish & chip shop has gone viral due to the writer's serious doubts about the romance of travel.

Pregnant women need good nutrition advice, not judgment

Pregnant women are under pressure to do all the "right things" to have a healthy child. It results in women feeling judged about their decisions.

When your child wants you to have another baby

Giving your child a sibling when you don't want to have another baby can be a complex issue.

William Tyrrell's mum speaks out: 'We hope he is still alive'

The mother of missing toddler William Tyrrell says she has a vision that somebody "picked him up and moved him on ... that's the only way ... to explain for him not to be there".

Family comes first for 23-year-old Tommy Connolly

Most 23-year-old blokes spend their hard earned cash on fun times with mates or romantic dinners with their girlfriend, but not Tommy Connolly.

Newborn all-girl quintuplets 'doing great'

The first all-female quintuplets born in the United States were delivered last week, at 28 weeks and two days.

Model mum's big baby silences critics

He may be less than a week old, but baby James Hunter has already helped his model mum silence her critics.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Last chance to win a year's supply of toys

You have less than a week left to win your child one of five Fisher-Price toy packs valued at over $600 each - hurry, enter today!

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

 

ENTER NOW!

Win a year's worth of toys

Last week to submit a picture of your baby at play for your chance to win. Visit the Play Wall to view our recent entries.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.