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Fighting chickens?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So usually my chickens are oretty peaceful but the past couple of weeks I've noticed some fighting developing. It's not all the time and it's over very quickly but it's slightly upsetting to see.

It used to just be normal pecking but a few weeks ago it turned to what cockerels do (at least I think), the standing up really tall and running straight at each other. They don't leap with legs out or anything, I'm not even sure they leap, and that's the extent of it but it's much more common now.

When they get to free range though (which is rare) they don't do it, though I saw it once.

So I'm assuming this is boredom or space related?

I'm planning on building a bigger coop and run in the spring and I've seen some great boredom busting ideas I might try but do I need to do anything else? Do they need to be trained out of this? Or will they stop?

They unfortunately can't really free-range right now so hoping to bust boredom in other ways.

Speaking of which, will the boredom busting ways even work or do they need more space like NOW?

Btw I'm positive they're all pullets and turned 17 weeks today. They shouldn't be acting like cockerels...
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
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Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
post #2 of 6

it's the room issue, and unless they have really close quarters pullets usually don't fight, they can't be trained but the only way that they will stop is if they have more room or are separated.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info!!! They definitely don't have enough space I thibk, they only have a coop kit we got on sale from TSC which looked way bigger in the pictures but really is maybe only 3x3 but we took the run part off and put it inside a 6x12 dog kennel but it's right in the middle so kind of broken up. They definitely need more space ASAP. Hoping to build a 4x8 coop and 8x50 or 60 foot run. Or save and buy a 8x8 shed.

But soon after I posted this I went and dug up a giant box of dirt for them amd got some pine needles and they loved that and immediately started scratching around in there so I think maybe they just need something to do cause they just walk around doing nothing all day.
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
post #4 of 6

I've been having the same problems since a co-worker with a hen that kept going broody hatched some of my fertilized eggs for me.  My coworker gave me the 2 chicks his hens hatched and once they were big enough and everyone pretty much knew one another, I included the newbies.  None of the other hens (or roosters) let them come outside into the run for a couple of months, but now that they are chicken-sized, they are holding their own most of the time.  They are still the low girls on the totem pole, though, and I know it's because of a space issue.  Also, suddenly, my other hens started picking on one another.  My previously sedate Aretha started seeking out one of the Laurens (OK, so there are three that look alike and my grandson named one of them Lauren....) and pecking her neck feathers out.  And at one time, ALL of the hens started picking on Funky and pulled out all of his tail feathers until he was dripping blood and I had to isolate him in the "sick bay" for a couple of weeks.  (Mean Girls!)

ANYWAY,  As soon as the weather is a little better I have BIG plans:  Funky, (the little Silver Laced Polish hen chick that turned into a rooster---and a sweet thing he is!) is getting his own coop and run and a few wives, so Keith Ennis (the stray rooster who started this whole chicken madness, LOL) and his wives will quit terrorizing him. 

Also, we are extending the existing run by about 200 feet squared.  On this, my husband and I disagree:  he thinks the run should be open to ALL of the birds, Keith Ennis and his wives as well as Funky Chicken and his wives.  He says that they will separate into their own coops at night, but I don't.  I think they should each have their own property so there is no fighting and/or interference from others. 

Anyone want to back me up here?  LOL

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Aww wow sounds like yours are being real mean at the moment! sad.png hopefully it sorts itself out! Sure it's the new additions and space problems like you said. Thankfully mine are pretty nice to each other mostly! I mean, they do the standing up tall and charging stuff and chase and peck some but they've never drawn blood or anything, though some feathers look a little funky.

As for the space thing, I know some people have success with letting them free range together and I know they will separate then/go back on their own but in a confined run, even a really really large one, I would still say separate! Plus, to me, it's not even whether they would go back to their own coop, it's more he's much smaller and clearly getting picked on! I've heard mixing LF with bantams or smaller breeds isn't usually advised but that's also more with gentle breeds because I've also seen some smaller roos/chickens kick butt LOL but I still say separate!
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Plus the girls may decide they like the other roo better tongue.png
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
Reply
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