Chasing and pecking

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gene22222222, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. gene22222222

    gene22222222 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2015
    NewBrunswick Canada
    Hi I have 19 laying hens about 1.5 years old. Most of them chase one and peck her all the time.She stays in a nest all the time to get away from them. I am worried that she is not getting enough to eat. Weather is very cold here now ,so they are in the coop all the time. Does anyone know why they pick on her so much. She seems healthy. Thanks for any Info. Gene
  2. dragonthehunter

    dragonthehunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2016
    New brunswick Canada
    She's the bottom of the pecking order
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Take a good look at your set up. Is there hide outs? Is there multiple levels?

    Adding some pallets, placed on saw horses, allows birds to get on top of the pallet or underneath the pallet. Laying a pallet across cement bricks, can give a smaller bird a place where it is harder for other birds to follow. Leaning a piece of plywood, against a wall, allows a bird to get out of sight. Setting up a piece of plywood in the middle of the run to make a mini wall, allows a bird to get out of sight (and out of mind) of the other birds. Place a feeding station behind this wall so that birds eating at the main station, cannot see who is eating behind this one. Adding a roosting bar in the corner of the run is a good idea too. Mine love to perch there and catch the end of the sun in the afternoon.

    Make sure that there are two exits from any hide out, so a bird cannot get trapped!

    You might take a head count, and measure your set up, might be you are a bit short on space. If you have space, you might pick a middle of the flock bird and confine her with the victim for a while, and then reintroduce them to the flock.

    Chasing and pecking have a place in the flock, it determines pecking order, but constant harassment is giving tension to the flock. Sometimes it helps to cull the victim, sometimes it helps to cull the bully, but often it helps to reduce your numbers.

    Mrs K
    2 people like this.
  4. Bananabread

    Bananabread Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2016
    Bay Area
    It's interesting that I find myself being mean to the bully chicken (leaving her in the run and letting the others out to free range for a little, directing our worms towards the other hens when feeding them treats, etc) in defense of our bottom of the ladder hen (coincidentally, she was a week older than the rest so was always bigger). I don't know if this helps or hurts but I feel better...

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