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flock behavior

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone I have a question. Yesterday my Easter Egger Hen was the first  of our young flock to lay an egg. We have two Roo's and nine hens. Yes I know its not enough hens for two Roo's, but we are going to remedy that issue soon. My question is before Harmony laid the first egg every one was on very friendly terms no issues with anyone even the roos were basically on very friendly terms with one being happy in the background. This morning when I went out to let everyone out of the coop My Harmony girl who is always the first one to great me was not there and when the rest of the flock finally exited the coop she was still inside. I thought she couldn't be laying another egg already as she only laid her first at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon the day prior. Then when she tried to come out the flock wouldn't let her they were actually aggressive toward her running her away from the outside waterer and the treats. Our hen B who is the number one hen in their pecking order with Harmony being number two was actually very aggressive toward her chasing her down and not allowing her to eat treats even after I gave her her own treats seeing how she was being treated. They both have always gotten along never even had a quarrel. Then later when my husband and I left our two roos got into a fight and thankfully no major damage but some messed up feathers and bruised combs. The rest of the flock seemed to not be so aggressive this afternoon but B was still horrible to her. I am concerned about Harmony being hurt by them if they gang up on her as B is the leader of the group.  Buttercup our back ground Roo who is actually the protector of the lower pecking order hens and even he was a bit aggressive toward her. I guess I am wondering if this sort of behavior is normal and if I can expect it to change when the other Hens start laying.Or should I separate B from the flock for a couple of days to see if I can stop the behavior. 


Edited by lolli1103 - 3/2/16 at 11:35pm
post #2 of 6

I'm no expert on this issue, but i would separate the aggressor(s). In my experience a chicken starting to lay has no effects on flock dynamics - others may have seen this happen, i could not say. 

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolli1103 View Post
 

Hi everyone I have a question. Yesterday my Easter Egger Hen was the first  of our young flock to lay an egg. We have two Roo's and nine hens. Yes I know its not enough hens for two Roo's, but we are going to remedy that issue soon. My question is before Harmony laid the first egg every one was on very friendly terms no issues with anyone even the roos were basically on very friendly terms with one being happy in the background.

 

This morning when I went out to let everyone out of the coop My Harmony girl who is always the first one to great me was not there and when the rest of the flock finally exited the coop she was still inside. I thought she couldn't be laying another egg already as she only laid her first at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon the day prior. Then when she tried to come out the flock wouldn't let her they were actually aggressive toward her running her away from the outside waterer and the treats.

 

Our hen B who is the number one hen in their pecking order with Harmony being number two was actually very aggressive toward her chasing her down and not allowing her to eat treats even after I gave her her own treats seeing how she was being treated. They both have always gotten along never even had a quarrel.

 

Then later when my husband and I left our two roos got into a fight and thankfully no major damage but some messed up feathers and bruised combs. The rest of the flock seemed to not be so aggressive this afternoon but B was still horrible to her.

 

I am concerned about Harmony being hurt by them if they gang up on her as B is the leader of the group.  Buttercup our back ground Roo who is actually the protector of the lower pecking order hens and even he was a bit aggressive toward her.

 

I guess I am wondering if this sort of behavior is normal and if I can expect it to change when the other Hens start laying.Or should I separate B from the flock for a couple of days to see if I can stop the behavior. 

II tried to add some paragraphing to make this easier to understand.

 

I'd remove both the cockerels and the aggressive pullet.

I'm assuming all your birds are the same age?

Thing can change when pullets begin to lay, surge of hormones can set off the females...

.... and the males who previously may have gotten along.

 

More info on:

Your coop and run sizes(feet by feet).

Total number of birds (and their ages).

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
The coop is not as large as we would have like but we have a bit of a space constriction in the yard but we made it as big as we could it is 4x12 feet and at it peak is seven feet high. We live where there are coyotes and large red tailed hawks so our run is completely inclosed. The coop is almost two feet off of the ground and the area under and next to the coop is 8x12 feet. I have a small vestibule area where i keep supplies and a gate going into the run from there into the narrow part of the run it is 4.5 feet wide x 25 feet long. We have eleven birds in this whole set up.
Edited by lolli1103 - 3/3/16 at 2:58pm
post #5 of 6

Space sounds OK.....minumum, more is always better.

 

All birds same age?

If so, remove cockerels first, at least one or both of them.

That might calm things down....maybe remove aggressive pullet to another cage.

Wire dogs crates can be very handy for this type of isolation, leaving crates in sight of flock and maybe not even using all day and night.

Juggle some chickens, bad ones get time outs....length of timeout to be determined by behoviors.


Edited by aart - 3/3/16 at 8:48am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yes all of the birds are 22 weeks as of this past tuesday.
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