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HELP!! Chickens attacking & killing each other!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello,  I seem to be having a serious issue with my "black" chickens attacking the other "golden" chickens.  We believe that black ones are either black sex links or New Hampshire xBarred rocks (based on the pictures in a book).  They seem to be attacking from the rear leaving large open wounds to the point where the chicken needs to be killed.  We have also noticed that a few have been attacked on the tops of their heads.  Is this the kind of breed or could it be something else?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

post #2 of 9

It could several things... the important thing is to separate them right away!  Chickens can be pretty nasty to each other when they are getting the pecking order straight, but serious injuries are supposed to be rare.

 

You will need to try re-integrating them slowly over time.  You can read how by searching on this site.

 

I am so sorry you are having so much trouble with them!

One big messy, noisy flock...   Roughly 15 older members, 8 EE babies, 10 Cuckoo marans ( 10+ FBCM coming in April), 20 +  Alohas.  Yikes!  Chicken math strikes again ;)

check out my eggzy stand!  http://www.eggzy.net/egg-stands/349

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One big messy, noisy flock...   Roughly 15 older members, 8 EE babies, 10 Cuckoo marans ( 10+ FBCM coming in April), 20 +  Alohas.  Yikes!  Chicken math strikes again ;)

check out my eggzy stand!  http://www.eggzy.net/egg-stands/349

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post #3 of 9

Once the draw blood you need to separate them ASAP..they will keep pecking that wound relentlessly. Keep them apart until the wound or wounds completely heal then try putting them together again. If you don't have another area to separate them, you will have to look at buying those hen saddles to protect them.

 

Once they have healed up you can try reintegrating them in a larger coop. Chickens start doing that when they are stressed by too small of an area or if they are chicks, when they are kept too warm. All that said, some are just bad eggs and will do it no matter what you do..those should go into a pot before they cause too much damage!

 

All chickens will pick at each other but some are much worse than others and even become canabalistic. Once they get to that stage there really is no breaking them. You will either have to keep them apart from other birds or cull them.

 

Good luck...maybe some others will have some better news for you.

 

I get by with a lil help from my hens.
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I get by with a lil help from my hens.
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post #4 of 9

 is this a set of chickens that has been together a long time, and the behavior just started?  Or is it a new mix of chickens?

 

In addition to all the good suggestions above, make sure that they all have their own 'space'.  That the ones being picked on can get away, a box, or a pet carrier or some barrier that they can hide in...some place to run to.  

 

Make sure that there is plenty of feed at different feed stations for the chickens, so that the dominant ones don't feel that their territory is invaded by the gold ones.  Make sure there is water.  So feed and water for the dominant and the less dominant and an extra one so they see that there is abundance for all.  ;O)

 

Think of some things that can relive their boredom.  Do they free range, can you throw them a head of lettuce, cooked corn-on-the-cob, perhaps a soccer ball?  Seriously, I got a chicken toy that is a ball with holes in it.  I filled it with sunflower seeds and the chickens learned that by rolling it they could get sunflower seeds out.  I told visitors that my chickens were learning to play soccer.   Also think of a forage cake for them-- Resolve is one of the BYC sponsors, and you can get them on line.  It contains nutirents and uses their beaks to advantage.  

 

There are also mechanical methods to stop pecking other chickens.  One is 'peerless peepers' - It somehow blocks the view line of the chickens from pecking others.  There is also something called bumper bits or something that allows the chicken to feed, but not peck others.  If I can find links, I will be back to post them.

 

It's funny how dyslexic I am---it isn't peerless peepers, it's pinless peepers:

http://www.eggcartons.com/Pinless-Peepers/productinfo/PINLESS-P/

 

And the other device:

http://www.omlet.co.uk/shop/shop.php?cat=Chicken+Keeping&sub=Leg+Rings+and+Bumpa+Bits&product_id=10750&product_name=Bumpa+Bit+-+25mm+-+Single

 

Not sure if they are available in the USA.....sometimes the UK is more advanced in chickening than the USA.

 

BTW Marymary---welcome to the forum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Edited by ChicKat - 2/14/12 at 2:16pm

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it. - Pasternak

 

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

Cream Legbar Club  www.creamlegbarclub.com

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"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it. - Pasternak

 

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

Cream Legbar Club  www.creamlegbarclub.com

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post #5 of 9

Mine are doing the same thing and it's awful. They have a half acre for 5 chickens. They have tons of food. Tons of water. tons of shelter. It just started. They all grew up together and this is out of the blue. There are three kinds. A Rhode Island Red, Two Buffs and two Bard Rock hens. The Bards are getting the crap kicked out of them and it's not cool at all. They won't go into the coup at night anymore because of it.

post #6 of 9

Cannibalism caused by very poor husbandry.  Otherwise this all seems odd.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #7 of 9

I have never had this happen but I am thinking that there is some stressor. As for the offending hen, she would be dispatched into the stew pot regardless of the reason.

post #8 of 9

I separated them. There was a cold snap. I'm hoping that just made them angry and a few days in the clink will sort them out.

post #9 of 9

it happens more when there is a cold snap followed by a warm snap and back to cold they get very angry and gang up on one member of the flock....

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