My husband and I are new chicken owners. We have a bunch of 5 to 7 week old chickens & bantams and some 3 week old turkeys & guineas (the turkeys and guineas are in separate housing from the chickens). We went all out for our first attempt. We are raising cornish, barred rocks, guineas and turkeys for meat; buff orpingtons, ameracaunas, golden laced wyandottes, speckled sussex and bantams for eggs. We ordered all pullets except for the ameracaunas and the bantams (and of course the turkeys and guineas). Not sure what we will do with the excess bantam roosters, will they be big enough to make a decent meal?
Anyway, I am doing my best to not get attached to any of the birds destined for the dinner table, but it's not easy (the turkeys are really adorable right now)! The chickens are beginning to establish their pecking order and I feel bad for the buff orps - a couple of the others are ganging up on them and biting them by their earlobes. There hasn't been any blood drawn, but the buffs sure do let out a loud screech when they get bitten and the other chicken doesn't want to let go. Is this normal for them to be bitten in this location? I have read plenty about them pulling feathers and pecking them, but not actually being bitten by the earlobe. Do I intervene or just let them establish their hierarchy? The coop is very large (12' x 20') and beginning this weekend, they will get to start venturing out of their coop and into the pasture. Hopefully the increased outdoor space will help.
This website has already been a great resource for information, I'm sure I will be on here a lot!
Here is a picture of the chickens hanging out under the fan: