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3 hens beating up on everyone else

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Newchick2this, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Newchick2this

    Newchick2this In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2011
    I have three Barred that I think are pecking everyone elses feathers as they have all there feathers. Even the rooster has a few on his back end missing and he's a big boy. I have 12 hens and 1 rooster. Had to seperate two of the polish hens as they were beaten up so bad so i made a new pen for them and now the barred rocks have started on the others i have 2 polish still in the big pen and 3 americanas and 5 barred rocks is this normal I can't making new pens and they have lots of area to run I keep them penned in they have an outside run as well as the inside of the hen house to run we have 3 hawks which come thru daily so I can't let them out. The outside pen has a roof over it and I've built several perches not sure what else to do. Feel bad I had to take out the two polish but they were the weakest at the time and just sat in the corner and let everyone pick on them they wouldn't go outside they seem happier by themselves and have grown back all there feathers. But now these three pick on everyone else any solutions?

  2. Dutchess

    Dutchess Songster

    Are the hens you separated from the flock doing the pecking? Sometimes when you remove them from the others you changed the pecking order. Maybe that's what the story is. Sometimes when they're crowded they'll get to pecking each other and that can get really bad.
    If not, then separate the bad hens that you think are doing the pecking. When you return them to the flock, the pecking order will change and chances are, because they were separated, they will be at the bottom of the order. Hope that helps!
  3. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    I usually cull an aggressive birds that won't be nice, why should your other 10 birds have to live in fear because of 3 bullies?
  4. PtldChick

    PtldChick Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I agree with the Dutchess - separate the three you think are doing the pecking - keep them out for at least a week so pecking order reestablishes. You'll also be able to tell if any more feather pecking is going on or not.

    The three will come back in as 'new' and have to reestablish themselves. If they start feather pulling again, sell them to someone who only wants a few backyard chickens and replace them with new, hopefully nicer, birds. The new ones will definitely be at the bottom of the order if you introduce them at a young age. Polish are not the most dominant of chickens and tend to get picked on, so if you do replace, try a mellow breed like orpingtons or australorps.

    Make sure your girls are getting enough protein, and have plenty of room in the run. 10 sq ft/bird is an absolute minimum, and in many cases isn't enough.

    Good luck!

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