Jump to content

Help with new arrivals please!

Recommended Posts

Took delivery of our new chickens yesterday, 2 Miss Pepperpots and a Gingernut Ranger. The delivery driver commented that the Gingernut was significantly bigger than the others and said it was unusual to supply birds that differed so much in size.


The Gingernut's really bullying the other two - it looks much more than standard pecking order stuff. Lots of feathers pulled out and lots of leaping on the other two whilst they're minding their own business. What to do? It's a Sunday, so even if I ordered one of the pecking blocks meant to solve feather-pecking, I wouldn't receive it til Tuesday..


(We suspect the Gingernut Ranger is significantly older - she laid her first egg about 3 hours after she arrived!)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry I can't help with the bullying question, but there is a sticky on here about 'introducing new arrivals' which covers this topic, and might help. I'm sure someone else will be along soon who has more experience.

My two Gingernuts were quite obviously different in size when they arrived, but the smaller one caught up quite quickly and it's now harder to tell them apart. Hope they soon settle down, and you can start enjoying your chooks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

firstly, don't panic :D


there is no such thing as 'standard' pecking order stuff!

it can range from a bit fiesty to downright brutal.


a couple of tips.......

if you can't see blood, don't intervene too much. Horrible as it looks this is what chooks do.

put more than one source of food in the run (there are lots of suggestions in the 'bored' chickens threads)

make sure also that there are several places to get water!


when you cannot tolerate it any longer, or if there is blood, find a way to contain the spiteful bird but within sight of the others for an hour or so to give the littluns time to feed and preen in peace. perhaps you could find a way to block off a couple of feet at one end of the run?


Poor you!

it must be sooooo upsetting! and on a sunday when you can't ring anyone too :roll:

on the good side.....having a bigger chook at the start means that when you come to free range your birds (they'll all be friends by then I'm sure..) she will be the one to raise the alarm and defend against cats....

and you get eggs already? there are people on here who wait months.


and there's always us....this is a wonderfully helpful and sympathetic forum! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Melanie,


It's horrible to see - especially cos we are all in the garden in this glorious weather - but it really is best to let them get on with it - it will settle down in a few days.


Get a cabbage or big bits of broccolli and hang them in the run - they will peck at them eventually and settle down.


You might find the youngsters stay in the eglu more - until things are settled - by next weekend you will have forgotten how traumatic things were and so will the chooks.


Good Luck Jaime xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phew, thanks for the advice. There's no blood visible, but I'll keep an eye out for anything like that. It does seem to be calming down a bit now, especially since I've put more food/water out. Having the dog pottering around the garden seems to keep their attention on the dog and not on squabbling, too..


We were absolutely stunned to get an egg yesterday, I'll admit. No such luck today, though!


I suspect they will settle in a few days - it's just surprising to see how mean they can be. (I blame my other half, for deciding a few months back that he was going to call his chicken 'Oh-no-look-out-it's-a-chicken!')


Can't wait to free-range them and cuddle them a bit more. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I am having a similir problem we picked up 2 new chooks yesterday and this is what we did.


We put the 2 new birds in the omlet and then in the run while the other 2 free ranged . After a couple of hours we let them free range all together at which point Mavis one of the old ones has been charging round the garden chasing the 2 newbies stopping them eating etc. They all went to bed last night in pod.


I think Mavis was annoyed cos Diedrie got in pod first and wouldnt budge.


Today things have continue to the extent that the newbies (Deidrie & Blanche) are hiding behind the shed. Rita one of the oldies is not bothered and only pecks the others if the Mavis is with her.


I am all for letting nature take its course - there is no blood just lots of sqwaking and flapping going on - and it is less than 24 hours -


Any advice would be appreciated

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wait a while.


so long as there are plenty of places to get some grub and water, they should all settle down.


My only concerns would be (and I'm certainly no expert)


a) if they are free ranging and haven't been confined to the run for a few days I would worry that they might disappear.


b) also re the free ranging, our girls only really settled their differences after they were shut in the run together...harsh I know, but got it all over and done with quickly.


anyway, wait and see what the other, more experienced members say.

good luck!

Tara xxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose it will get better if the other two grow up a bit, which will hopefully happen very soon.

You can separate them if there are injuries. You can get anti-pecking bits or rings to stop feather pulling, but 1 day is very early.

I've been too much of a wimp to just shut the chickens in together and have freeranged, it took about 3 weeks. There is the chance the new one will make a run for it. Megan did so we just shut her in the run on her own for a day when she was OK. The others seemed to accept they should stay put as the other chickens were.

I added 1 chicken to 2 twice in this way with no problems after about 3 weeks.


Megan's been a problem as 4 months in I shut them in the run for the Easter weekend and came back to a slightly bald headed Megan and the older 2 suddenly have it in for her and bully her more than normal (although no blood, just feather pulling). I've seen them jump on her back, pin her to the ground and peck her. She's a similar size but has only just grown proper comb/waddles, is very timid and has not quite got into the swing of egg laying :(

I'm freeranging them to give her a chance and hoping they are just adjusting to her being more mature. You can separate the bully to weaken their position e.g. for 5-7 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phew. Ours have settled in lots over the past few days - there's still the occasionall squabble, but the little 'uns seem to know their place now. Having separate food/water seemed to make the biggest difference.


Now the only trauma is that Ohno (the thuggish laying one) has had the sniffles since arriving. Am just hoping the Citricidal ordered from Omlet arrives today. (She's not acting unwell and laying fine, and no wheezing/nose bubbles, so assuming it's mild enough for citricidal.. unless anyone's heard of chickens being allergic to aubiose?)


Ahh, the excitement of new chickens..! Looking forward to the time when the only worry is how they'll destroy the garden. ;)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...