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Disturbing hen behavior, strange flock dynamics - please help. - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chooks4life View Post
 

Sounds like you're doing all you can do.

 

Again X2 on what Yakima Kid said, it's always the family line not the breed, no matter what trait you're talking about; some traits just crop up more often among family lines raised under certain environmental situations, i.e. neurotic and aggressive behavior being far more common among intensively caged and socially disordered/isolated birds.

 

People often tend to overgeneralize i.e. 'all Buff Orps are good mothers' or 'all Leghorns are too noisy' (I've probably said the last one myself, or something close to it)... But again it's just family line. Some of those rates of occurrence can be very high though, so high you can end up giving up on the breed sometimes.

 

Best wishes.


Yeah. I gave up on white Leghorns for just that reason. No matter how I housed them or fed them or whatever, their were always nasty, cannibalistic chicks in every batch.

 

I need to start segregating one of my Dominiques. She pulls feathers on chickens, and pants on people. I'm worried that she might take up vent picking.

It might be *spelled* jib, jigger, and Jeep - but it's pronounced yib, yigger, and Yeep.

 

Scientists have determined that most dinosaurs had feathers lying feather tracts. Imagine a time traveler going back and discoring that Tyrannosaurs Rex looked like a very large Silkie.

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It might be *spelled* jib, jigger, and Jeep - but it's pronounced yib, yigger, and Yeep.

 

Scientists have determined that most dinosaurs had feathers lying feather tracts. Imagine a time traveler going back and discoring that Tyrannosaurs Rex looked like a very large Silkie.

Reply
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Yakima Kid View Post
 


Yeah. I gave up on white Leghorns for just that reason. No matter how I housed them or fed them or whatever, their were always nasty, cannibalistic chicks in every batch.

 

I need to start segregating one of my Dominiques. She pulls feathers on chickens, and pants on people. I'm worried that she might take up vent picking.

 

Yep, I see your concern there. I tend to cull for abnormal behaviors now even when nothing serious has happened because in my experience with such behaviors in the past, it's almost always a trend... Not a limited time behavior. If the animal gets no immediate reward for it, yet shows a very strong inclination to do it, that's a strong and abnormal mental bent behind that. Lack of reward should stop it. If it doesn't, well, then it's only a matter of time before they succeed. I am no fan of Leghorns, BRs, Dom's, Isabrowns, Cornishes, and most hatchery bred birds, I find too many faults in common among those bred in that environment.

 

Best wishes.

Self-sufficiency farmer with all sorts of all sorts, aiming to get more sorts of more sorts. Working on my own strains & breeds. 

Athlete, nerd, artist, gamer, writer, maker-of-stuff, perpetual student. Ignorance is not bliss, it's suffering! I may be strange but I'm not malicious, so if I give offense please reconsider taking it. ;)

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Self-sufficiency farmer with all sorts of all sorts, aiming to get more sorts of more sorts. Working on my own strains & breeds. 

Athlete, nerd, artist, gamer, writer, maker-of-stuff, perpetual student. Ignorance is not bliss, it's suffering! I may be strange but I'm not malicious, so if I give offense please reconsider taking it. ;)

Reply
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chooks4life View Post
 

 

Yep, I see your concern there. I tend to cull for abnormal behaviors now even when nothing serious has happened because in my experience with such behaviors in the past, it's almost always a trend... Not a limited time behavior. If the animal gets no immediate reward for it, yet shows a very strong inclination to do it, that's a strong and abnormal mental bent behind that. Lack of reward should stop it. If it doesn't, well, then it's only a matter of time before they succeed. I am no fan of Leghorns, BRs, Dom's, Isabrowns, Cornishes, and most hatchery bred birds, I find too many faults in common among those bred in that environment.

 

Best wishes.


There are also problems in some breeder strains, where temperament has been neglected in favor of focusing on other characteristics and traits.

It might be *spelled* jib, jigger, and Jeep - but it's pronounced yib, yigger, and Yeep.

 

Scientists have determined that most dinosaurs had feathers lying feather tracts. Imagine a time traveler going back and discoring that Tyrannosaurs Rex looked like a very large Silkie.

Reply

It might be *spelled* jib, jigger, and Jeep - but it's pronounced yib, yigger, and Yeep.

 

Scientists have determined that most dinosaurs had feathers lying feather tracts. Imagine a time traveler going back and discoring that Tyrannosaurs Rex looked like a very large Silkie.

Reply
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Yakima Kid View Post
 


There are also problems in some breeder strains, where temperament has been neglected in favor of focusing on other characteristics and traits.


For sure, likely because many breeders practice a very similar isolated environment. I got problems in all breeder strains I got from purebred breeders, same as from hachery breds, same social and breeding issues just on a smaller scale.

Self-sufficiency farmer with all sorts of all sorts, aiming to get more sorts of more sorts. Working on my own strains & breeds. 

Athlete, nerd, artist, gamer, writer, maker-of-stuff, perpetual student. Ignorance is not bliss, it's suffering! I may be strange but I'm not malicious, so if I give offense please reconsider taking it. ;)

Reply

Self-sufficiency farmer with all sorts of all sorts, aiming to get more sorts of more sorts. Working on my own strains & breeds. 

Athlete, nerd, artist, gamer, writer, maker-of-stuff, perpetual student. Ignorance is not bliss, it's suffering! I may be strange but I'm not malicious, so if I give offense please reconsider taking it. ;)

Reply
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Wow, almost 2 years later, but amazingly, we did break this hen of feather plucking, fairly quickly.  This probably seems cruel to some people, and it was definitely risky, but what we did was lock Natalie the feather-pecking hen out of the coop. For 4 or 5 days she had to survive on her own - of course we provided her with food and water, but she had to find them for herself - and find a place to nest by herself during the day and roost by herself at night.
If a raccoon or hawk had come by, we would have lost her.  But we humans, as well as the rest of the flock, were pretty much done with her feather-pecking ways.
By the time we introduced her back into the flock, she was no longer the boss hen and Ragnar the Rooster was no longer willing to put up with getting his neck feathers plucked at. If she tried, the other hens and Ragnar corrected her quickly. Natalie has been quite a well-behaved hen ever since.

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