I am so tired of the behavior problems in my flock. I started with 18 chicks and all was well until about the 6 month time line. 2 of the 18 turned out to be cockerels. The cockerels had a bad fight and one almost died. We got rid of the aggressive cockerel. Couple months later one of my australorps started losing feathers a lot of feathers and was bleeding then the whole flock was pecking her so we isolated her until the wounds were better. Upon re-entry same thing I saw one hen a Buff Orphinton that was pecking off feathers and eating them I saw her peck 5 different birds in 30 seconds so I got rid of her. Now both of my Australorps are almost bald. I have seen several of the hens picking at them. I am about to give up on chickens. I am not sure what to do there are about 4 of the 16 hens with feathers missing the Australorps are the worse they are very docile birds and great layers but their condition has me bothered.
I have all heritage breed birds 4 Buff orphingtons, 1 Bared Rock, 2 Wells Summer, 2 Americanas, Cockerel is a Buff Brahma and 1 hen is Buff Brahma, 2 RIR, 2 Australorps & 2 Silver Wyandots
The hen house is 10' x 12' and the run area is 25' x 16' during the day they have access to both the run and the hen house. When the weather is good I let them free range a couple hours a day before they roost. We let them out longer but they crap all over and we have a nice place so I don't like the crap all over the driveway Etc they also tear up the flower beds. We live on 6.5 acres so they have plenty of area to do their thing but they like to stay close to the house and make a mess.
I like taking care of the chickens but I just don't know how to keep peace it seems impossible for them to get along. I started this project to donate eggs to the food pantry I volunteer at and I have been donating on average 5 dozens eggs a week and I like doing that. In hind sight I wish I had bought all one breed. If I had to do it all over I would either choose all Bared Rock onery birds or all Australorps very docile and not mix them. Maybe I should move these on and start a new flock I am not sure what to do at this point.
Chicken challenged Mike