Nice little garden Telia, I hope it doesn't suffer from some overly enthusiastic gardeners of the chicken variety.
I was wanting some advice if anyone has any ideas. I'm moving house in a week now, and currently not all of my girls get along, I'd like to improve and ease tensions between specific offenders. We'll be building two brand new coups for them (one for the three big chickens, one for the three banty's) and pens when we get there. I'm hoping this along with a brand new territory that no-one has dibs on will help. I'll run down the situation as it is now, and any tips on how to further increase harmony at our new house would be appreciated
The main offenders for arguments are Annabelle and Iris, though Annabelle actually seems to boss everyone she can. Annabelle is a year old RIR hybrid and ranked number two out of six. Iris is five month old Speckled Sussex, and is number three out of six. Annabelle I think is fighting to ensure she doesn't slide further down the line, she was number one until she got sick and had to be quarantined. She chases and sneaks up on Iris to peck her from behind. I've used the look but don't touch method, and from that my alpha seems fairly ok with Iris, but not Annabelle. Annabelle also chases the three bantams I have as well, basically everyone below her she chases with the intention of pecking.
All of the bantams get along quite well, Beatrice who is last in the pecking order out of the six, due to age and size (she's a three month old d'uccle) has been accepted by the other two bantams, again using the 'look don't touch' method. However, Iris who is also best friends with the other two bantams I have, didn't fully warm up to her and will chase her. Iris does also peck her friends too, but overall they get along fine still. Bantams are kept separate during the day and are let out in the afternoon for supervised free range, but they can interact through the fence with the others. I also try to use noise as a deterrent to break up fights. I got a bit slack with that, but will try to use it more again now. Funnily enough, Ada who is alpha, and Beatrice don't have any problems. Bea can walk past Ada with no worries. I'd like to keep Ada as alpha if possible, she's calmer and a little more tolerant of the others than Annabelle was (still is) now she's established herself. All the girls are very friendly towards me, and can be picked up, though some like cuddles more than others.
I'd like to take the bantams over first, then the larger chickens. The move will happen on the 4th, so everyone will be moved on that day. I can let some out first, then the others, if that may help. I think problems here are mostly due to the older girls not wanting to share the yard, despite having more than enough space. Anything I should be mindful of either in preparation for the move and after? Thanks everyone Edited by Fizzybelle - 2/24/16 at 11:11pm