1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Aggression directed at one chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ashley Pederson, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

    51
    1
    43
    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I have 5 chickens (RIR, Ameraucana, GL Wyandotte, Light Brahma and Barred Rock) that are about 1.5 years old. I bought them all together as cute little baby chicks and they have always been together.

    Last summer a few of them ganged up on my Ameraucana and plucked a spot off her back, but then left her alone after a day or two of this treatment. It also wasn't particularly violent, just grabbing a beak full of feathers as she walked by.

    Starting about 5 days ago, my Wyandotte and Ameraucana have decided they HATE my Barred Rock. They chase her down, pin her to the ground and viciously peck and scratch her. She's been doing an okay job evading them and hiding, so I've been trying to let them work out their issues. This morning, however, I noticed that the spot they have pecked her feathers away from on the back of her head now has a bloody spot about the size of a nickel. I tempted her to me with some sunflower seeds, examined it and treated it with the Blu-Kote I had on hand. She seems fine otherwise and I'm sure the wound looks worse than it is as I am not a fan of blood, but I figured it was time to consult the pros now that blood has been drawn.

    I do not think space is an issue. Their coop is sized for 12 chickens (we heard about "chicken math" before starting our flock) and it opens into their enclosed inner run that is about 8'x10' that has their food and water. In the mornings, we open the door to their outer run (~10'x40') that they have access to all day.

    The rest of the flock spends the day scratching around in the outer run, which gives the BR hen access to the food and water all day. She runs back into the coop and hides whenever the two bully chickens get close. They have obviously managed to catch her to give her the wound though.

    The RIR and Brahma are staying out of the chicken drama. They do not bother the BR and the BR does not run from them.

    What should I do?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    i'm not sure what you should to prevent the aggression, but if chickens see blood they will peck at it which could lead to death, so try to separate the barred rock from the other hens, or bandage the are, you could also set up a chicken tractor in their run and put the barred rock in it that way the other hens could see her but not harm her
     
  3. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

    51
    1
    43
    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I was thinking about possibly trying to build a separate compartment inside a part of her run for her. Any advice on how big it should be? Also, would I leave her in it until she's better or still let her go in her coop at night? If I leave her in it until she's better, should I put it in the enclosed run section so she has a bit more protection from any potential predators at night? Sorry, trying to find a way to comfortable separate her is totally new to me. The only thing I have ready is the brooder box we used when they were chicks, but it is only 2'x4'x2' and made of plywood. I don't think she would be very happy in that.
     
  4. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    i'd keep her in a separate run until she is healed and the other hens don't try to get at her. you can put a wire cover on the top of a run, just make sure she can get some shade, and you're right i suspect she might want a little more room than 2'x4'x2' however if that's all you have you can use it until you can get/make a bigger run, you can put a plastic storage bin with a hole cut in the side in it for egg laying. i'm not sure on an exact run size-chickens can live in a small area so it doesn't need to be huge
     
  5. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

    51
    1
    43
    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I am a little worried about stressing her out more if I move her to a completely new location. I checked out my materials in the garage and have enough supplies to build a 4'x5'x4' tractor run to enclose a large part of the inner run. It would keep the other chickens from getting at her, but allow her to stay in her environment to hopefully minimize stress to her and keep the other chickens used to her. I may be totally over thinking it, but I worry about her getting lonely kept away from the flock or them attacking her again when trying to reintroduce her because they see her as a new chicken. Do you think this will help?
     
  6. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    if she is in a chicken tractor that is in the main run i don't think the other hens will see her as a new hen, i think it would stress her out more to keep her in with the other chickens where they can get at her. putting her in a chicken tractor in the run will make it so the hens can't hurt her, they will still be able to see her, and it will allow her to heal. i think that if she can see the other hens she won't get lonely
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,499
    3,382
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What are the actual dimensions?
     
  8. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

    51
    1
    43
    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    The building is 4'x8'x4' with 2 4' long roosting bars and a place for a third to hang if it's ever needed. They all roost together on one bar. It also has three nesting boxes inside with a spot for a for fourth. The door to the coop is always open to an enclosed run that measure 10'x8' and is roughly 6' tall. Their food and water is on a stand in this area. There is a door to this run that we open every morning that lets them out into a 10'x40' fenced in run to play in all day.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,499
    3,382
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Thanks. 4x8 is fine for your 5......but I wouldn't put 12 in it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by