48 hrs in ............


In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2016
Scenario , question #1

48 hours ago we brought home our little flock. We have 2 buff orpington, 1 white rock, 1 partridge rock, 1 speckled sussex, 1 golden laced wyandotte, 1 black australorp and 1 welsummer. The Welsummer and the GLW are 9 weeks, the others are closer to 11 weeks old. The first morning buff orpington #1 was pecking at a few of them, in particular the Black Australorp. By early afternoon the Buff Orpington settled and pretty much stopped pecking. Thats when White Rock stepped in and was relentlessly pecking at Black Australorp until she had a bald patch about 3" across on her lower back. Very red and inflamed, perhaps a little blood. So we may have panicked but we bought some Blu-Kote and gave her a spray. White Rock shifter her attention over to Partridge Rock. Today is day two and White Rock is still trying to peck out feathers from anyone she can, but still primarily from Partridge and Black. No need to apply any more Blu-Kote as it was not as severe at all.

We are watching White Rock eat most of the feathers she pulls, unless they are too big.

Is this just normal activity to establish pecking order? When can we hope to see it stop ?

Scenario #2

they are all in the nesting boxes...... at one point all 8 were in one box....... boxes are 14" x 14" x 15"

We are placing them on the roosting bars ( 1" x 6" boards, 44" wide , one is 14" from the floor, the other is 28" from the floor) but within minutes they are in the boxes...... having said that...... tonight 3 have stayed up on the top roost. Buff#2 , Welsummer and White Rock

Does that indicate they are the dominant ones?

Do I worry about the others in the nesting boxes or will they catch on soon enough? I can board off the boxes if need be

Scenario #3

I have two daughters , aged 6&7 who are very excited to have chickens. All 8 chickens are friendly enough that my girls are able to pick them up and sit down and cuddle. My daughters place them up on a roosting perch in the run and everyone seems happy. With all the excitement of having chickens , friends and family are visiting to check things out and that has meant we are keeping the chickens up later than I think they want to be up. Around 7:30 they start to lay down but we are still visiting them .......... we have the coop door closed .......... around 8:30 we are leaving them alone, opening the coop door and they are hopping in for the night.

Are we handling them too much? too soon?

do they have a bed time?

I have told my wife and kids that tomorrow night the coop door is open and when they decide to go inside , the visiting is over.

Any and all thoughts are appreciated......... new to all of this but absolutely loving it

if you have questions I will do my best to respond

To question #2, in doing my own research on this site, it seems most people recommend blocking the nest boxes, and that they don't really need to be un-blocked until the chickens are close to laying eggs.

#3, I am no expert but it seems like you have a good idea to let the chickens decide when their bed time is and then visiting time is over.

Congrats on the new flock!
Welcome to BYC!

The pecking could just be pecking order, it should stop soon tho....could partly be stress too.
The 11 week olds will be molting soon, watch for pin feathers they can bleed badly.
Make sure they are getting adequate protein, including animal protein.
Inspect for pests, tips pasted below.

Definitely cover up the nests, until they are roosting regularly.
Make sure roosts are higher than nests.

Keep the visiting to a reasonable duration. They are already stressed being in a new place, over handling only adds to that.
Leave the coop door open all the time, let the birds decide when to interact with humans or go in a coop and rest.

Your coop at 4x6 may be a little tight for 8 birds...it's nice little setup tho, well built, nice ventilation.
Don't see the roosts in there got a pic?

Bugs check
Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Two roosting bars , 1" x 6" flat side up. Lower is 14" off the floor, upper is 28" off the floor. They are 46" wide.

Two roosting bars , 1" x 6" flat side up. Lower is 14" off the floor, upper is 28" off the floor. They are 46" wide.
Interesting 'poop slide?'
Is that metal?
Looks like it might work really good to gather the night poops, tho it's taking up valuable floor space.
Time will tell whether or not you'll have any crowding issues.

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