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Introductions - still not settled!

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Hello all


I introduced three new girls to my three older ones over the late May bank holiday, having kept them apart for a week. However, it is now July and the three older girls are still insisting on giving the new ones a hard time - chasing them away from food, grabbing hold of feathers, not letting them into the coop at night. It's not constant but it is a regular occurrence, especially first thing in the morning when they're getting up and looking for breakfast.


I can't make out one clear ringleader - they all seem to be at it! Consequently, I'm not sure who I can separate from who!


Right from the start I doubled up on feeders and drinkers but the three older girls are starting to wise up to that and deploy each other to "man" each one. I think I'll have to invest in a few more?!


I have a huge walk-in run with lots of perches and benches and things to keep them occupied, so at least that helps the new girls to be able to get away and they have a few places to hide.


At night time, two of the newbies perch on top of the coop rather than run the gauntlet of going inside, so I wait until it's completely dark and then pop them in myself. But, rather than insisting they're all on perches I've started to leave them to settle wherever they've managed to find as I thought that would at least cut out all the pecking and dramatics then. But I'd be much happier to have them all roosting together.


So - any thoughts on how I combat this? Water spray has been deployed into faces for a few weeks now, but obviously to no effect!


Now please don't all tell me that your older girls behaved impeccably when new girls arrived.....!

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How old are your new girls? Are they the same size as the old ones?


It sounds as if there js plenty of room in the run so, as long as no injuries are being inflicted, I would be inclined to let them get on with it and hope that it will settle down eventually. As you say, a couple more feeders and drinkers would be a good idea too.

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Hi Tweety - the new ones were POL when I got them and all except two are the same size as the older girls. The third, smaller, girl seems to have the gift of the gab with the older girls and they rarely bother her - she's the one who manages to snuggle up with them in the coop at night. The older girls I've had for one year and they were POL, too.

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It sounds about normal for that length of time - if you're doing introductions again, I'd leave it for longer than a week before putting them together. As long as blood isn't drawn, I'd leave them to it, they need to sort out a pecking order. You've done all the right things with having extra feeders, perches to get away from the others and so on. They'll sort themselves out over time.

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