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9 week old "meanies"

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi there,

 

I recently just picked up three new young hens (two 9 week old and a 5 week old) from a heritage breeder.

I've noticed the two older girls can be quite aggresive, pecking at the other one when there is food involved. Dot, the 5 week old Barred Rock is quite submissive and will let out a cackle before trying to run away. They aren't always horrible to her, they snuggle at night time and this morning when I separated them they sat close to the fence on one side and Dot sat close to the fence on her side so they were nearer each other.

 

My question is whether some in run separation until Dot is a little bigger to defend herself will help to curb the problem, is it normal for slightly older birds to establish a hierarchy and is the behaviour okay to let go until they do so? I just don't want Dot to end up hurt.

post #2 of 3
Older birds will always be mean to younger ones. I'd definitely recommend doing a wire separation so they can't physically interact but can still see each other for at least another few weeks. It would also be a good idea to get another 5 week old chick so that the younger one has a buddy.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawright View Post
 

Hi there,

 

I recently just picked up three new young hens (two 9 week old and a 5 week old) from a heritage breeder.

I've noticed the two older girls can be quite aggresive, pecking at the other one when there is food involved. Dot, the 5 week old Barred Rock is quite submissive and will let out a cackle before trying to run away. They aren't always horrible to her, they snuggle at night time and this morning when I separated them they sat close to the fence on one side and Dot sat close to the fence on her side so they were nearer each other.

 

My question is whether some in run separation until Dot is a little bigger to defend herself will help to curb the problem, is it normal for slightly older birds to establish a hierarchy and is the behaviour okay to let go until they do so? I just don't want Dot to end up hurt.

It's quite normal behavior but I totally understand your concern. I had this problem last year between a barred rock and a golden comet.

The barred rock picked on the smaller golden comet and when I was out there to witness it, I clapped my hands loudly and the bad behavior stopped. I repeated this every time and eventually it subsided. Unfortunately as mature hens, our golden comet is still at the bottom of the pecking order but she is very fast and can get away with ease. Chicken drama!

Good luck to you!

Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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