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13 week barred rock sisters fight/blood

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I'm seeking out some advice. On Sunday I went outside to find one of my two hens with a bloody comb. They have been together since day 1 and have loved each other and now all of a sudden we are experiencing this tension. I separated them in the coop run so they can still see each other and bought a puppy crate that I put the injured girl in at night inside the coop and her sister sleeps on top of it. I've done supervised play time every day for a short time. They get anywhere from 1-5 hours of free range on a normal day. Their coop run for just the two of them is 10x3 feet. They have unlimited scratch and water and then I give them treats everyday whatever I have. They were free ranging when they got in the fight that turned bloody. I put the black pick-no-more stuff on the bloody comb. But I'm really unsure what happened and am scared to put the back together unsupervised. Any one else experience this type of behavior before? Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you!
post #2 of 4

First of all, :welcome

 

It would help if you could give us a bit more information about your girls - how old are they?  do they lay?  has anything changed in their environment recently?

 

Also, are you certain that the bloody comb is the result of one bird pecking the other?  If you didn't actually see them fighting then you can't be certain that it is agression - it may be from another cause.  I started seeing bloody combs on some of my girls, and I couldn't work out why, then one day I realised that they were catching the tops of their combs on a homemade rainproof feeder when they put their heads inside to eat!

 

One other point that I would ask you to clarify - you say that they have "unlimited scratch" plus treats.  What exactly is the "scratch" that you are giving them?  If it is a properly balanced seed feed then it is fine, but you need to be careful that it is not just a mix of a couple of seeds (eg: corn and wheat for example) as that does not contain the full range of nutrients that your birds need.  Allowing them to free range will let them supplement a limited diet, but they still need access to a properly nutritious feed that they can pick at when they feel the need, or they will start to suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply! @KayTee the title says their age (13 weeks) barred rock sisters. They are not laying. Nothing has changed in their environment lately. The food/scratch question is good, as I'm doing lots of research now. I've been feeding them the same corn grit since they were born. Would appreciate any feedback on that. Every time I go ask about this to other chicken owners they say that's fine. 2 days ago I added oyster shell which they don't seem interested in. They eat the chicken grass I planted for them everyday. And then daily I'll give them each a couple blueberries or if I have leftover fish or banana. And occasionally meal worms.

I didn't actually see the fight that caused the bloody injury. I came out and found the hens comb bloody and originally thought maybe a crow came down and took a snip. But then I have been monitoring their behavior and it seems like they are picking on each other more. Her sister kept going after the bloody comb and that's when I separated and treated the comb. Any more thoughts ?!
Edited by thebirdladykel - 6/1/16 at 12:18pm
post #4 of 4

Oops!  :duc  sorry, I didn't pay enough attention to the title of your post!

 

With regard to the feed - they don't need oyster shell until they start laying, when it is necessary for the egg shells.  However it doesn't hurt to have it available in a bowl for them - once they decide they need it they will start helping themselves as and when necessary.  For their main diet, despite the fact that my 11 birds have 1000m² to free range in all day every day I still have two feeding stations with good quality chicken pellets in that they can access whenever they want.  They don't eat a lot, but they seem to know when they need to top up their free ranging diets with a bit of a supplement. 

 

Picking on each other more is probably just the fact that they are starting to mature and establish who is the top bird.  A certain amount of pecking each other is normal.  It is probably best to leave them to sort it out but to keep an eye on them to check that it doesn't get out of hand.  I would doubt that they will get too agressive with each other, as they have grown up together.  I have had lots of chicks grow up together (even 3 roosters) and they got on pretty well once they had sorted out their teenage differences.


Edited by KayTee - 6/2/16 at 7:42am
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
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