Aggressive Pullets

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kgilmore1, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. kgilmore1

    kgilmore1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 13 ISA brown pullets and 2 straight run Buff Orpingtons together in a very large coop in our barn. They are all about 6/7 weeks old and I purchased them at TSC when they were around a week old. Two of the ISA's are becoming increasingly aggressive. They run/fly at me, try to pick fights with the others, jump on top of the food and water to keep others away, and almost have that rooster attitude. I know they are supposed to be sex links so are surely hens, but they are getting larger and pinker combs than the others and are getting wattles. Is there anything I can do to encourage them to not be as aggressive? I think one of the orpingtons could be a rooster, but these two even bully him.
     
  2. Back onfarming

    Back onfarming New Egg

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    I'm not expert but I believe they are establishing a pecking order. I would however from my own experience keep an eye on the one that is plucking feathers to make sure they are not actually eating the feathers. It's a bad habit and can lead other chickens to pick up on it and become cannibalistic. I had one of my older bovan red hens doing the same thing. All 4 began plucking feathers from my Cochin Rooster. I soon gave all 4 of those hens a new home. While in the journey there they plucked and ate all of the tail feathers off a young bovan red rooster I was transporting with them and his whole back end was bleeding profusely. I'm assuming they ate some of his blood feathers since there was so much blood.
     
  3. Back onfarming

    Back onfarming New Egg

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    I might add that if you're not willing to give those away then as I said watch them because you may need to separate them.
     
  4. kgilmore1

    kgilmore1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh goodness that sounds awful! They don't pick feathers...yet. They just fight each other. None have been left bloody so far. If they get to a certain point I'll either rehome or they will be dinner I guess.
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    I believe chicks can get mixed up at TSC as with most other places that sell on hatchery chicks, so there is always the possibility that they are production reds and not sex links in which case you may have a cockerel or two, especially if their combs are getting larger and pinking up at 6-7 weeks. If you can post photos of the culprits we might be able to confirm their sex.

    If your barn is just one big open area, it might help to put things in it, to break the space up into areas, so that chicks can move out of view of the more aggressive birds, but be careful not to create dead ends where a victim can get cornered. Boredom is a key factor in aggression too, so giving them toys, things to scratch through, cabbages hung up, different height perches and swings and of course multiple food and water stations all help to alleviate that problem. Caging the offenders away from the flock for a week or so and then reintroducing may also take them down a peg or two, but be in a position to supervise reintegration.

    Good luck sorting it. Flock dynamics can be quite frustrating to fix when things are not harmonious.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  6. kgilmore1

    kgilmore1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Barbara,

    I think boredom is a big part of the problem too. They only get out in the run for an hour a day at the moment while I can supervise because it needs repairs. Hopefully that'll be fixed this week. Here's a picture of one, the two aggressive ones are pretty much identical. [​IMG]
     
  7. kgilmore1

    kgilmore1 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you see them picking and eating feathers you may try to up the protein in their food. Depending on what you are feeding you can go up to a 24% protein grower or give them high protein treats such as meal worms or handfuls of cat or dog kibble to see if that helps..
    Or give them a large seed block for something to do or hang vegetables on strings or rope to give them something to do so they aren't bored.
    Good luck.
     
  9. kgilmore1

    kgilmore1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't seen any feather picking so far, just an aggressive peck here and there. They are on 20% protein chick starter/grower right now. Hoping they are just establishing pecking order
     

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