4 or 5 Hens being aggressive to other hens - Pulling feathers & pecking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenmomma2, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2012
    I have 52 chickens; 7 roos and the rest hens. They have been together for the past 3 years and had been getting along fine. For the past month or so 4 or 5 of the hens have been picking on each other and the other hens; pulling out feathers, pecking their backs until bleeding, chasing hens from the food. I have no idea why they are acting like this. I've added another roost pole to give them more room but they are not overcrowded without it. I read on another post they might need more protein but I give them 2 dozen scrambled eggs every Saturday and Sunday mixed with cheese and oatmeal. Any suggestions? Thanks.
     
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2014
    They need chicken feed(lots of it,too).Not only this bread as well,(if it is a food issue).
    You have a lot of birds.Fighting becomes a large issue,and I guarantee you may loose at least a few birds,(No offense).
    Do they free range?I need a exact height,Length ETC measurments on the coop.

    I have 21 birds.I have only 3 roost and don't forget i have ducks.I have not 1 problem.Which makes me think you may have a few sick birds,or just not liked ones.
    Most of my life i've had chickens,and only came across a accident like this with my first flock,and then I only had 9 hens(1 died).
    If you have any aggressive/bossy birds,often this accures.

    My first flock came with a few sexlinks,PR's,EE's,Dominiques,Australorps.My sexlinks,short for red comet,red star ETC was too nice,which made her a potential target,then a full on 1.This could be your case.
    There are a Trillion other things that could have went on,good luck with your birds though!

    -ThePRfan
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    How big is your coop and run? 52 birds need a serious amount of space in both. Pecking can get to be such a bad habit that is almost impossible to stop and it can really spread through a flock. I'd pull out those 4 or 5 birds that are doing the pecking and see if the rest of the flock does ok. I would probably cull or get rid of the aggressive birds.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    I'm also thinking it's a space issue. Where are you located? Has the weather caused recent confinement? What are you feeding besides the weekend treats?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  5. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    May 27, 2012
    The chickens get layer breeder and can free eat as they please. I have a 5 gallon bucket that is a continuous feed. I also throw out feed in the morning when I open the coops and in the evening before they go to bed. They also free range everyday starting around 7 a.m. and then go into the coop sometime between 4 and 5. The coop is very large. As it is night right now, I'm thinking it is 30' x 15'? The neighbors refer to it as the "Taj Mahal" of chicken coops. They also have 26 feet of roost pole in the extension, not including the 15 feet of roost area on the top. In the main coop they have about 85 feet of roost pole.
    We have had nice weather for the most part. Not nearly as cold as last year. I'm in VA. Today it was 65 degrees. Its been comfortable enough I've not had to light the woodstove which is my sole source of heat. We did have 3 days of rain recently, but this behavior has been going on long before that.

    The aggression only happens in the evening when they are getting ready for bed.

    Like I said, they were getting along fine until at least the past month or so. I put an isolation cage in the coop 2 nights ago and stand in the coop when they are going to bed. This is when the aggression occurs. The first night they were picking on my deformed girl, Tweety Bird, and I isolated her because her back was bleeding. The 2nd night I had 2 girls acting aggressively and I relocated them to the extension. One in the isolation cage, the other just in the coop. Tonight I had one acting aggressively and relocated her to the isolation cage. Tweety Bird now lives in the coop extension on her own roosting pole. She seems happy because they have always picked on her and this is a place that she gets peace.

    One roo is in isolation because he is so obnoxious. So, there are 51 chickens in the coop & coop extension. He has his own coop and private run and doesn't mingle with the others unless they come over and talk to him through the fence. He would go into the coop and try to jump girls on the nest box.

    Thank you for any insights.
     
  6. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    May 27, 2012
    The chickens get layer breeder and can free eat as they please. I have a 5 gallon bucket that is a continuous feed. I also throw out feed in the morning when I open the coops and in the evening before they go to bed. They also free range everyday starting around 7 a.m. and then go into the coop sometime between 4 and 5. The coop is very large. As it is night right now, I'm thinking it is 30' x 15'? The neighbors refer to it as the "Taj Mahal" of chicken coops. They also have 26 feet of roost pole in the extension, not including the 15 feet of roost area on the top. In the main coop they have about 85 feet of roost pole.
    We have had nice weather for the most part. Not nearly as cold as last year. I'm in VA. Today it was 65 degrees. Its been comfortable enough I've not had to light the woodstove which is my sole source of heat. We did have 3 days of rain recently, but this behavior has been going on long before that.

    The aggression only happens in the evening when they are getting ready for bed.

    Like I said, they were getting along fine until at least the past month or so. I put an isolation cage in the coop 2 nights ago and stand in the coop when they are going to bed. This is when the aggression occurs. The first night they were picking on my deformed girl, Tweety Bird, and I isolated her because her back was bleeding. The 2nd night I had 2 girls acting aggressively and I relocated them to the extension. One in the isolation cage, the other just in the coop. Tonight I had one acting aggressively and relocated her to the isolation cage. Tweety Bird now lives in the coop extension on her own roosting pole. She seems happy because they have always picked on her and this is a place that she gets peace.

    One roo is in isolation because he is so obnoxious. So, there are 51 chickens in the coop & coop extension. He has his own coop and private run and doesn't mingle with the others unless they come over and talk to him through the fence. He would go into the coop and try to jump girls on the nest box.

    Thank you for any insights.
     
  7. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    41
    May 27, 2012
    The chickens get layer breeder and can free eat as they please. I have a 5 gallon bucket that is a continuous feed. I also throw out feed in the morning when I open the coops and in the evening before they go to bed. They also free range everyday starting around 7 a.m. and then go into the coop sometime between 4 and 5. The coop is very large. As it is night right now, I'm thinking it is 30' x 15'? The neighbors refer to it as the "Taj Mahal" of chicken coops. They also have 26 feet of roost pole in the extension, not including the 15 feet of roost area on the top. In the main coop they have about 85 feet of roost pole.
    We have had nice weather for the most part. Not nearly as cold as last year. I'm in VA. Today it was 65 degrees. Its been comfortable enough I've not had to light the woodstove which is my sole source of heat. We did have 3 days of rain recently, but this behavior has been going on long before that.

    The aggression only happens in the evening when they are getting ready for bed.

    Like I said, they were getting along fine until at least the past month or so. I put an isolation cage in the coop 2 nights ago and stand in the coop when they are going to bed. This is when the aggression occurs. The first night they were picking on my deformed girl, Tweety Bird, and I isolated her because her back was bleeding. The 2nd night I had 2 girls acting aggressively and I relocated them to the extension. One in the isolation cage, the other just in the coop. Tonight I had one acting aggressively and relocated her to the isolation cage. Tweety Bird now lives in the coop extension on her own roosting pole. She seems happy because they have always picked on her and this is a place that she gets peace.

    One roo is in isolation because he is so obnoxious. So, there are 51 chickens in the coop & coop extension. He has his own coop and private run and doesn't mingle with the others unless they come over and talk to him through the fence. He would go into the coop and try to jump girls on the nest box.

    Thank you for any insights.
     

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