I have a sort of different problem and am having trouble finding a thread or even an article online to fit the situation and find a solution, maybe someone here has this experience and can help.
I have 5 hens, no roosters. all of the hens are approximately a year and a half old and have previously lived in separate but adjoining pens, always able to see/hear/smell each other. Recently we built a nice coop (we call it the Taj mahal of coops, it's a beautiful thing) so we chucked them all in there and expected some pecking order issues but believed it would be short lived and not a really big deal. Boy were we wrong! The breakdown of the group goes like this: 2 RIR's, 3 BR's, 2 of the BR's are "twins" and are very obviously on the bottom of the order, the "lone" BR is in the middle with both RiR's being in first place. When they were in their separate pens the RiR's lived together and the twins lived together so this pecking order sort of makes sense. My problem is that the RiR's are vicious, there is blood shed every single day. it's been 10 days since moving every one into the new coop (all at once) and the violence continues. One of the twins behinder is completely naked and bleeding, I have taken first aid measures with blu kote but it doesn't stop the violence. I understand working out pecking order but I'm pretty sure this is more than pecking order battles. Last night I went out to check on them after roosting time and they were all on the one roost, one of the RiR's had the lone BR trapped in a corner and beating the snot out of her head and the other RiR had the twins in the opposite corner doing the same. I took the RiR's down off of the roost and put them on the floor but they immediately jumped up onto the roost and continued beating on the BR's.
I don't know what to do, I am considering taking the RiR's out of the coop for a few days to hopefully put them on the bottom of the pecking order. There are 5 hens and 30 sq. ft of space in the coop and 90 sq ft of run, I was under the impression that should be plenty to avoid crowding spats. I give them things to play with like whole pumpkins, heads of cabbage etc but the RiR's seem dead set on blood shed.
Does anyone have any advice?
Thank you in advance