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Introducing new hens, how long 'til they stop fighting?

(10 Posts)
cadelaide Thu 30-Jun-11 20:01:15

Two single hens brought together on home turf of one of them. Have been popping 'new' hen in the coop with 'original' hen after dark, no problems there, but we're on day 3 and original hen is still attacking new hen when they free range together.

How long should I give it before I give up?

Punkatheart Thu 30-Jun-11 20:18:00

You should separate them during the day - so that they can see each other but not make contact. Slow is the answer. Throw them all in together straight away and it will spell trouble. In my experience it takes a couple of weeks before they can stand the sight of each other and a couple of months before they settle down. Make sure both sides have lots of food and treats.

cadelaide Thu 30-Jun-11 21:09:50

Ah, right, much longer than I thought.

nickelbabe Fri 01-Jul-11 12:38:26

it does depend on the hens, though.
We had more problems integrating our ex-batts than our newbies.

Punkatheart Fri 01-Jul-11 14:30:42

True. If you have a very dominant personality - they can create hell!

pixelpeeper Fri 01-Jul-11 16:56:32

cadelaide I am in the same boat as you... I introduced 2 new girls last week, I was not prepared for the bickering, jealousy and fighting!
I just thought they'd be ok!

Oh well... I have 3 more coming in sept, I have now ordered a little run, at least I'll be prepared for next time!

cadelaide Sat 02-Jul-11 23:26:47

Things have been a little better today, original hen has had the odd go at new hen but not the sustained attacks of the first few days. New hen has learnt evasion tactics too.

It's bloody horrible though, really. Like watching a scared kid trying to avoid the school bully.

Isn't it the oddest thing how they don't do it at night in the coop? Peaceful as anything. I'm coming to the conclusion that chickens aren't as unintelligent as tradition dictates, but their minds do work very differently from ours.

pixelpeeper Mon 04-Jul-11 11:35:44

It's awful. My old girls are still at it, the new ones don't stand a chance. Today is day 6 and tomorrow is the first day they need to be locked up together - thinking of putting some fresh veg in the coop as a distraction for the older girls!

czechpie Sat 08-Apr-17 08:30:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WelliesAndPyjamas Sat 08-Apr-17 08:35:22

It'll take a good couple of weeks, maybe more. After years and years of keeping them, I have decided that some hens are meaner by nature than others and will continue the evilness for a lot longer. I've had the initial dominance game turn in to long term feather pecking that went on for as long as I had the hens together, because the habit was almost impossible to break in them hmm Chickens are definitely more intelligent that their reputation, as a pp said, but contain not an ounce of kindness!

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