Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs
That was really helpful. She is the dominant bird, I think she's just getting up higher to show her dominance to the other hens and to talk with you. I didn't see anything there that was bad as far as behavior.
Now I'm going to say that your set up is way too small, don't take this the wrong way please, no judgement on my part, just observations, but being kept like that often brings out aggressive. I do think you said they were getting larger accommodations, but maybe I'm remembering wrong. Also I can't remember if you free range or not.
When there's not enough territory to support the flock the dominant members will try to drive some of the lower birds out by pecking and chasing. I think maybe that's more what's going on. I'm not even sure how all those hens get in that house, it must be like a clown car. I would increase the coop size if possible and the run should be way bigger to allow them to work off energy during the day.
My submissive hens stay away from the dominant ones. I've noticed it ranges from 5 feet to 10 feet for it to be a safe distance for them, otherwise they get pecked.
Your hens are very pretty and it's a nice flock. My australorps have always talked to me like that, it's one of the reasons I enjoy them so much. I don't have one at the moment, but have one coming in my order, now I wished I had ordered more. I think you would deeply regret culling her.
Thank you for all of your help! I think you are right that I will regret culling her, especially since it seems like she's not really doing anything wrong? Just being a talkative, curious, chicken and not enough space? I would hate to cull her for no reason or for something that's my fault.
I'm glad that her behavior there wasn't bad because I wasn't sure. Although all the chickens fly up on the roof throughout the day and on the waterer so what does that mean? Are they all trying to be dominant? Or just feel more secure up high?
No offense taken and not taken as judgement or anything at all! You are absolutely right that there is not enough space! And I think even their brooder was too small. Unfortunately they moved out at 7 weeks old and while it was plenty big then, now at 24 or 25 weeks old, it is now way too small. Surprisingly though, they all still fit and find roost space. Sometimes I take the roosts out during the day and there's a little more room but they don't seem to use it.
Anyway, we actually our in the process of building a new coop right now!
This is what we got done yesterday.
We have free ranged a few times when they were younger and more often recently but it's not that often and earlier in the week we had a hawk attack so right now they're locked up. I also got sick of watching them all day so lately it's been a few hours before they go to roost. Even when they are out free ranging though she will attack but maybe that's because she knows there is still no room in their coop?
The new coop will be 4x8, we are copying this plan.http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jonny-anvils-chicken-coop
Although we're making a few changes like 3/4 pressure treated plywood on the floor and 3/8 pine sheathing instead of using OSB for everything.
Also going to add nesting box access outside and add lower roosts and a droppings board instead of using the rafters.
And more ventilation.
But besides that, basically the same.
My dad forgot to tell me he was making the base bigger but that's fine, better anyways. The base is 6x8 because he wants to put the nest boxes there as well as maybe have storage for stuff.
Hopefully it will be big enough?
The run I originally wanted like 8x50 but that's expensive so it will probably end up being more like 8x16, whether that's with cattle panels ("hoop coop", in this case hoop run) or wood framed HC. The current run is a 6x12 dog kennel we had laying around. It's too small but the coop is also sitting in the middle, new run the coop will be outside so it'll be wide open plus a few extra feet.
Thanks for the compliment! I do think they fit well together and all look nice and I do like tha talkative nature of the Australorps, especially since no one else really talks, so I think they are a key part of the flock and that you are right that I would miss her if she was gone. I think I'm going to just be more careful around her and stop letting them climb all over me, as well as provide the higger space, and give her another chance. Edited by KDOGG331 - 4/11/16 at 6:48pm