Originally Posted by Raderby Ranchin
My Ameraucana, Feather is at the top of pecking order. She pecks and tries to pull off feathers from my Buff Orpington, Chicka constantly who WAS
her challenger. By the way it looks Chicka does not challenge her anymore.
Feather breaks her eggs. I use to think she would just be impatient waiting for a spot and lay where her egg would drop and break. Today I got her egg from the nesting box and saw she pecked a hole in it.
I'm starting to think Feather killed one of my chicks.
Will she stop this behavior? How do I stop it?
Not sure what your set up is like, how old your birds are or how many birds you have... So this is my advice based on my set up.
We have limited room ( urban 1/4 acre yard) and strict city ordinances ( limit of 6 hens - no roosters). We have 5x5 coop and a huge fenced run ( think 1/3 of the yard)This happened to us with an EE we had ( and raised from a chick) a few years back. She was in our mixed flock of BR, GSL & Buckeyes. In order of what we attempted to curb the extreme bullying ( ie it wasn't just pecking order - she was actually injuring other hens)
1. We separated her into a dog crate in the run - so she could see the others and they could see her. Let her out after a couple of days. She went right back to the same behavior.
2. Into the dog crate again for 2 weeks ( of course with fresh food, water, treats). Worked for about a week - she was noticeably calmer and actually lower in the pecking order - then she worked her way back up and began injuring others again.
3. Found her a home with someone with a much larger flock than us AND with a Rooster that didn't "put up with" bullying hens. She integrated fine and last I heard was happy member of the flock.
Do you have or can you have a rooster? They really can make a difference with a bully hen.
Are they in a small environment ( like a tractor or small pre-fab coop). More room can sometimes make a difference.
Ultimately, you may need to re-home her or send her to freezer camp
Just fyi - after my initial mixed flock departed - I eventually switched my breed preferences and now have Sal Favs and LF Cochins. Both breeds known for their docile nature. I hate drama
Oh and a persistently broody silkie whom I do not count in my "6 hen" limit as she rarely ever lays an egg!
Best of luck to you!