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Pecking and lost feathers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm brand new to raising chickens -- I brought my first chickens home 3 days ago.  This evening as I was bringing my chickens in for the night, I spent about an hour in the coop observing them.  I noticed one chicken was pecking at another chicken.  This happened while they were on the floor of the coop and when they were deciding which nesting box to sit in.  Is it normal behavior for chickens to peck at others?

 

Also, I felt like perhaps the chickens had lost a few feathers.  Is it normal for chickens to lose feathers?  Or could it be from the pecking?

post #2 of 5

Chickens establish a "pecking" order literally. As they learn who is in charge and who is 2nd in command and so on and so forth, they will settle down. This could take a while especially if they were not raised together. Continue to monitor them and play the ref if they get too rowdy, but for now I wouldn't interfere with the natural order of things. Make sure they have plenty of room and resources (food and water dishes) so the bottom hens can avoid the bosses if necessary. 

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel890711 View Post
 

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm brand new to raising chickens -- I brought my first chickens home 3 days ago.  This evening as I was bringing my chickens in for the night, I spent about an hour in the coop observing them.  I noticed one chicken was pecking at another chicken.  This happened while they were on the floor of the coop and when they were deciding which nesting box to sit in.  Is it normal behavior for chickens to peck at others?

 

Also, I felt like perhaps the chickens had lost a few feathers.  Is it normal for chickens to lose feathers?  Or could it be from the pecking?

Welcome to BYC!

 

Post above describes the pecking nicely.

As long as there's no blood shed or anyone sis being pinned down and beaten unceasingly, just let them work it out.

 

You don't want them roosting(sleeping) in the nest boxes, those are for laying eggs only.

They poop a lot at night and sleeping in the nests will make for poopy eggs...or a LOT of cleaning daily.

Do they have roosting bars for sleeping, that are higher by about a foot than the nests?

Pics of inside coop would help us help you understand more.

 

Losing a few feathers can be normal.....but...

More info on how old your birds are, and pics, might help.

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 5
Thread Starter 

I'm not certain they sleep in the nesting boxes.  They just hopped in there when I was with them last night.  When I went out this morning, none of them were in the nesting boxes.  Our coop has 3 roosting bars at different heights.

 

I do not know the age of the chickens.  I got them from the local livestock auction.  But they are older chickens.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel890711 View Post
 

I'm not certain they sleep in the nesting boxes.  They just hopped in there when I was with them last night.  When I went out this morning, none of them were in the nesting boxes.  Our coop has 3 roosting bars at different heights.

 

I do not know the age of the chickens.  I got them from the local livestock auction.  But they are older chickens.

Go out and check after dark....or check the nests in the mornings, if you find poop, then you can address the bad habit. 

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
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