Bully hen/food guarding

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by animalgrl, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. animalgrl

    animalgrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2015
    I have a small flock of 4. My EE and Barnevelder are approximately 8 months old. After losing a couple of hens the last few months, I recently (24 days ago) acquired a Buff Orpington and a Light Brahma that I was told are 6 months old. The BO just started laying for me last week (the LB isn't laying for me yet) and she is laying pretty tiny eggs, so I think she is a new layer and the the age I was told is probably correct. After a two week quarantine, the BO and LB were put in with the EE and Barnevelder and were separated by a fence for one day. Due to logistical issues, they were all fully integrated into the same pen the next day (approximately 10 days ago). All seemed fine the first couple of days, but I have noticed the last week or so that the Barnevelder is a little bit of a bully to the BO. No blood or injuries, so it's fine, except that the Barnevelder is guarding the food from the BO, especially in the morning. I have two feeders out on opposite sides of the run, but they all ignore one feeder and seem to always go to one specific feeder and the Barnevelder runs in to peck the BO off the food once she starts eating. I think she is getting enough food throughout the day, but I don't really like the food guarding. Is there anything else I should do? Or since there is no injury and I do think the BO is getting to eat over the course of the day, should I just ignore it and let them work it out? She doesn't do this to either the EE or to the LB that was introduced at the same time as the BO.
    Any advice appreciated.
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Ignore it. It's a normal animal behavior. One of the reasons for being the Alpha is to have best access to the food. With two feeders, the Orp has food available and isn't hurting at all.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by