Bullying problem?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PhDtoFarm, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. PhDtoFarm

    PhDtoFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    A few days ago, I noticed that the smallest of my RIR hens had some black spots on her comb. They look like they're from pecking. No matter where she goes, someone will peck her. Even the two non-RIR hens that used to be on the bottom of the ladder are now pecking at her. Even since the past couple of days, it looks like there are more spots.

    She doesn't seem to have serious wounds aside from the comb spots, but I'm wondering if (or when) I need to intervene. I can't identify a primary bully -- as far as I can tell, it's everybody who pecks her.

    I'm also sort of wondering if she's going crazy. She spends a lot of time pacing -- running back and forth along one side of the run. Sometimes she is so close to the wire that I worry her beak is going to get damaged. I know she wants out (probably to get away from everybody!), but I don't know what the best solution is.

    Is this a normal level of bullying? What should I do?

    (The run is 20' x 8' for 12 birds -- could space be an issue?)
     
  2. Sethseger

    Sethseger New Egg

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    Dec 20, 2013
    Is she the only one with black spots on her comb? If they're not preventing her from eating & drinking, & they haven't drawn blood, it should be fine. Sounds like you have plenty of room for that number of chickens. Is she a recent addition?
     
  3. PhDtoFarm

    PhDtoFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    She's the only one with that many black spots. There are a couple others who have maybe one or two, but they seem fine. She can still eat and drink (there are two waterers and feeders, so she can get to one or the other). I got all my chickens at the same time too, so she's not a recent addition. She's just smaller than the rest for whatever reason, so maybe that makes her an easier target. :/
     
  4. After I stopped letting my chickens free-range, one or two of them would pace back and forth in front of the wire run. It sounds like your girl wants to get out--do you ever let them free-range? Are they used to free-ranging? If this is the case, she will get used to it.
     
  5. PhDtoFarm

    PhDtoFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    I've never let them free range. It's not the best neighborhood and the fence doesn't go all the way around the house. There are also hawks all over the place. :/ She didn't always pace, so I'm not sure where this sudden need to get out came from.
     
  6. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had two girls do something similar. the first became terrified of the two roosters as they got old enough to exert their dominance. she used to be the top girl & suddenly became the last one on the totem pole. she would hug the fence & pace wanting to escape those two roosters. then another girl got sick & couldn't handle the pressure of the roosters & became frantic to escape them. since they're two special girls to me - I set them up in their own world. they live happily together without the rooster issue.
    I know that's not practical for most - but that worked for me.
     

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