Worried new mum!

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Flossiej

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Worried new mum!
« on: June 07, 2011, 22:20 »
We got our first three new hens about two weeks ago and a week later decided that we could cope with a couple of extras ( I know I should have taken the plunge with five initially but being new to keeping chickens, I wasn't sure). We waited until dark, put the two newbies in the coop and left them there til morning. There was a little pecking and bickering initially but that has settled down. However the two newbies seem to be reluctant to leave the coop for very ling during the day and don't seem to be eating much with the others around. We have tried taking them out of the main run into a smaller one and they stuff themselves quite happily. The problem is that we can't free range them because of having lots of foxes around and not being there all day. I don't want to make them eat separately forever so what can I do. I don't want them to starve themselves. Help??
One husband, three teenage sons, one completely blonde dog, two scatty cats, five nutty chooks and an uninvited mole!

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henamoured

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Re: Worried new mum!
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2011, 22:52 »
Have you got more than one feeding station? If there is another feeder and drinker well away from the other one it might give your newbies more of a chance.
When one of my chooks was really bullying two others I ended up with flora tubs of pellets and water dotted round all over the place for a while which is a nuisance to bring them all in every night but isn't necessary for more than a few weeks until they all settle down.

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Flossiej

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Re: Worried new mum!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 21:04 »
Hi yes that sounds like a good idea. It seems like they are intimidated by the larger of the three hens. However, I had a brainwave and switched the food and water feeder positions over this morning so that the food was well away from the coop door. This allowed the more timid two to come out of the coop well out of the way of the bully who then ignored them when they approached the feeder in the new position. Will see how this goes but if not I will add another feeder and drinker to the coop. Thanks again for the tip

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cejx

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Re: Worried new mum!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 07:29 »
I had bullying issues.  Feeders - and lots of them. The 2 new girls need to keep their strength up!  In the end, I had 6 feeders and 4 drinkers for 6 chooks!  They're all happy now, and we just have the 2 feeders and 2 drinkers - they still do squabble!
**ginger•henna•margo•matilda•hattie••5 ex-bats & betty the rescued bluebelle**

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ManicMum

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Re: Worried new mum!
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 23:08 »
Anyway, as they are foragers by nature, chickens like to find food in different places.

I have 2 big feeders which are always in the same places, plus pellets, greenstuff/weeds & other stuff scattered round the run - but no more than they'll clear up by the end of the day - to give the girls something to think about rather than bickering.
ManicMum

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Flossiej

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Re: Worried new mum!
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 11:56 »
Thanks for all the good advice, things have settled down quite well with the move of the feeder. I have added another small feeder in but they seem to be socialising better now with the bigger girls. Certainly moving the feeder further away from the coop door has stopped them hiding in there. They still go to bed much earlier than the other three and prefer to hog the nesting boxes for the night which I think might need closing off to encourage them to perch instead. One step at a time though I think. Many thanks again, will keep you posted!



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