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Liz Steed

Delinquent Chooks and New Arrivals!!

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Now I knew this wasn't going to be easy but......


My calm, docile girlies have turned into neck grabbing thugs :shock::shock::!:


I've now got an 18-20 week old Bluebelle, Doorie, and a 15 week old BEAUTIFUL Maran Cuckoo, Dotty, how has the most wonderful maran ginger flecks in her neck and head feathers mixed in with her black/grey and white speckles, however she is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order and its awful to watch :cry::cry::cry:


I've done as suggested by the supplier and introduced the two babies into the eglu when the older 2 had roosted. Nug GNR kicked off a bit and whinged for 10 mins or so, then she rearranged where everyone was sleeping and was then ok all night.


In the morning Nug and Flo came out, but whenever the two babies tried to come out, they were attacked with Dotty getting the brunt of it. Now I was expecting this and shut the Eglu door until just after 7 when I was sure the foxes would have gone off to bed, the Nug GNR and Flo PP were out in the garden and the babies had the run. Nug and Flo stayed as far away from the Eglu as they could, but were well miffed all day, squawking and crowing ++++ and generally making their feelings known :roll::roll: They refused to lay in the eglu with the hatch off and crammed themselves in a corner under some bamboo to lay, Nugget whinging like she was laying a double yolker and then only producing YET ANOTHER (now 4) wind egg. the babies were fine, ate ok etc etc. then comes 5.30 and I have to go out. "Nearly dark" me thinks...and I stick the older 2 back in the run, where all hell is let loose :shock::?:oops: with the older two acting together to attack the babies, so the Rabbit got ousted from the Rablu and shoved unceremoniously in with the Guinea in the hutch, (now THEY are normally seperate for a reason!! :oops::oops: ) I then had to seperate the thugs from the newbies and they got put in the Rablu, then putting them back in with the others well after dark.


This morning has been pretty much the same, although the older two are scratching around near the run but now Doorie is following Dotty everywhere she goes and wanting everything she has, so Dotty is not able to get her head in the feeders, so I've stuck a spare in.


I KNOW this is to be expected, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can I have some assurance that it will settle down, or some addtional tips I'm unaware of :cry:


p.s I've just had to seperate Doorie and Dotty as Doorie is now attacking Dot, can it get any worse!!!!

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Liz, I know it looks awful - I introduced 2 new girls to the existing 3 and the first week was viscious but it slowly settled down and by the third week it was mostly fine. I used to isolate the worst attacker for a few hours to give the new girls some peace and let them mix with the 2 that were not so viscious. It will get better but the sooner the pecking order is sorted out the better.

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My new two settled in pretty quickly, I did the same as you and kept the new girls in the eglu run and the old ones outside freeranging. By bedtime the new girls were in the eglu and the others followed in after a bit of squarking! After a week I let them all out together to freerange and there was a bit of chasing and pecking by the boss hen, but I just let them get on with it. Things should settle down for you soon enough, it's just horrible to watch!

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Hope it gets better if only for the guinea pig/rabbit :shock:


It's very early yet, it can take (3?) weeks and they make such a fuss about everything. It's horrid when the old ones start bullying your new favourite chicken (my "baby" Megan). Poor Megan tried to fly off twice, partly as her new companion was pulling out her tail feathers, :twisted: but that stopped fairly soon.

It might get easier if the new ones mature a little as they will probably stand up for themselves a bit better. Megan still runs away and as a result gets chased (but not pecked) after about 3 months :roll: Abbie followed the others round until they accepted her.


Tips, put as much food out as possible, and make sure there is extra shelter if needed as my old ones spread out one to each food container, or sometimes more and the new ones wouldn't shelter if it meant sharing with the old ones. I've learnt that the pecks aren't as viscious as they look, with mine they rarely draw blood, or literally a speck if to the face and the pecking ot the head doesn't look painful :shock: Mine rarely went for the neck. :? Maybe that means it will be sorted out quicker?

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It will definitely settle down - promise! I got all four of mine on the same day thinking they would be fine - they weren't :shock: . I just seperated them occasionally when things looked a bit too rough. They did settle down, and yes it seemed to take about 3 weeks altogether. Having more room to escape and run round helped, as did putting out plenty of food and treats - good distraction!


I also read that you should make sure you handle the bossiest chicken as much as you can. This shows them that it is you that is top chicken! Your new girls sound lovely - hope they settle down soon for you. :D

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Ok...day 5 and not much improvement :cry::roll:


GNR and PP are acting like a hunting pack in the morning before I've managed to seperate them (I wait a bit deliberately to see what happens) the newbies stay in the eglu when the older girls are in with them, huddled in a corner. The older 2 go in every few minutes together to have a quick peck, and of baby Dottie comes running out in terror, they chase her and grab her by the neck. The older newbie Doorie, is picking on Dot less, which is good. Dots coping ok tho, she's eating and drinking ok and has a good preen, and apart from the occasional cough and sneeze (apparently still shedding bronchitis vaccine so I'm told) tho she runs to me for protection if I open the run door or egg hatch :D


Shall keep plodding on..... :cry::?:cry:

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