Brown Leghorn Bullies

Lesjr883

Songster
May 10, 2018
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South Mississippi
Background: I have 1 SLW (1+ Year), 1EE(1+ Year), 1 Orpington (1+ Year), 6 Brown Leghorns(6 Months, POL) and 9 three month old mix breads. There are 3 Cockerels in the 3 month olds. Two are GLW and Brahma mix and one is a Bantam Cochin. I have an 12'X8' run and a 20'X10' run connected by a 3' opening. I have 72 Sqft of coop space and 30' of roosting bars. There are 4 feeders and 4 water stations.

Situation: The brown leghorns are attacking one of my 3 month old cockerels. They had him down yesterday and I had to remove them from him. He had a little blood on his wing, but was alright once he got away from them.

Temp Solution: I have separated the brown leghorns into their own run and coop. It is just big enough for them (run is 10'X8' and coop is 3'X8' with 6 feet of roosting bars).

Question: Will the brown leghorns calm down and quit attacking my younger birds? Or will I have to keep them separated for ever?

Here are a couple pics just for fun.

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Lesjr883

Songster
May 10, 2018
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South Mississippi
Personally, I would separate the cockerel(s) until they mature. They are 3 months compared to POL 6month olds, so immature at best.
I thought about that, but it is not the cockerels that are causing trouble. The Leghorns are very aggressive with all of the younger chickens, they just happen to get one of the cockerels down and continued to pick on him. The three older hens don't pay the young ones any attention unless they get close to them. Then it is just a peck to say get away. The Leghorns will run them down. I was just wondering if this was a breed trait, or just because of their age.
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
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Jul 27, 2017
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I thought about that, but it is not the cockerels that are causing trouble. The Leghorns are very aggressive with all of the younger chickens, they just happen to get one of the cockerels down and continued to pick on him. The three older hens don't pay the young ones any attention unless they get close to them. Then it is just a peck to say get away. The Leghorns will run them down. I was just wondering if this was a breed trait, or just because of their age.
The Brown Leghorns that I have had were very aggressive. With only 4 hens, they completely dominated a flock of 50. I separated them -- and their cockerel, peace again. Before they were segregated, they completely ate the tail of the lowest rank Buff Orpington. After they were removed, the Orpington could be a part of the flock again. I like them, they lay eggs like crazy! They just need to be in their own flock. This is why you end up building more coops as soon as you get chickens!
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 27, 2017
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I have a pair of brown leghorn pullets. They weren't necessarily mean to the others, but they definitely demanded their space. They would peck at, and chase any younger chicks away from them. :smack
They've just started laying in the past week, and seem to have drastically mellowed out since then :)
As you get more of them they are their own flock. With 6, I wonder if the OP would ever have a peaceful flock with them in it. I know that I just gave up and kept 2 flocks. I like the number of eggs the leghorns lay! One flock of 4 brown leghorns outlaid twice as many Orpingtons! At one point I got up to 30 layers, hands down more white eggs! I had 12 Brown Leghorns and the rest mixed, Orpingtons, Australorps & easter-eggers.
 

Sequel

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Feb 17, 2015
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I have one brown leghorn pullet I bought at POL. I was going to get 3 but the family I bought them from suggested a welsummer and an EE so I’d have more colorful eggs. Boy I’m glad I did! Isabella Rossini is beautiful, athletic, curious but she is busy and SMART compared to the others! She’s become my favorite chicken ever but I’m glad I didn’t get 3!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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I thought about that, but it is not the cockerels that are causing trouble. The Leghorns are very aggressive with all of the younger chickens, they just happen to get one of the cockerels down and continued to pick on him. The three older hens don't pay the young ones any attention unless they get close to them. Then it is just a peck to say get away. The Leghorns will run them down. I was just wondering if this was a breed trait, or just because of their age.
Yes, I understand the cockerels are not causing problems (yet:D). But...you are focusing on punishing older pullets for fairly normal behavior. Some breeds need even more space than others. It would be better to leave the pullets where they are with their group of pullets/hens, separate the cockerels and let them grow up - they need to be confident, mature and be able to take charge of the 15(?) hens/pullets. Also, do you plan on keeping all 3 cockerels? How is that going to work in your space and with your number of girls?

Just my 2¢
 

Lesjr883

Songster
May 10, 2018
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South Mississippi
Curious how and when you integrated the youngest group?
Were the leghorns already well integrated?
The youngest group hatched on June 21 under my Orpington hen. The orpington stayed with them until Aug. 17 and she went back in the main coop and run with the two older hens and the leghorns. The younger chicks were in their own run and had their own coop until Sept 21. The leghorns were in the main coop and run with my three older hens and there were no issues at all. They have been with the 3 older hens since they were 16 weeks old. Around July 18th. Everyone was getting along fine. There is only chicken wire and welded wire separating the two runs, so they can see each other, just can't get to each other. During the month of Sept. I have let them interact while I was down there and then separate them when I left. There were no issues. So on Saturday I decided to open the gate between the runs and let them all live together. I stayed down at the run for about an hour cleaning and watering everyone. They all got along just fine. No pecking or fighting. Saturday night they all went to roost in their coops. Not together, the younger chicks went to the coop that they were use to. Sunday afternoon I found one of my young roos hiding in the corner with the leghorns pecking him. He is not injured, just a few feathers missing and a couple drops of blood. I cleaned him up and put some ointment on him. I put the leghorns in the coop and run where the young chick had been staying and put the young chick with my three older hens. Since I have separated the leghorns there is peace again. I can keep them like this for ever if I need to, but I will have to build another coop and run if I hatch or buy any more chicks.
One other thing: I have no grown roosters. Out of the 9 chicks that I hatched, 3 of them were cockerels. I know I can't keep all three but I was planning on keeping one, or using the coop and run that the leghorns are in as a bachelor pad. I guess that is out of the question now.
 

MANNA-PRO

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