"Chicken-know-nothing" author seeks input to make sure I am portraying my chickens & their owner acc

Sevie

Hatching
May 23, 2015
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Hi. I hope you don't mind a non-chicken owner coming to you with questions. I've done internet research, but some of my questions are too specific to readily find their answers online.

It's a science fiction story, so if what I'm describing would only happen 1% of the time that's okay. I just don't want it to be impossible.


1. Pecking Order: Would one hen possibly peck another hen while pecking at the feed/seeds/treat that their owner threw into their chicken yard? (Don't know if this matters, but the owner is still there on the opposite side of fence, talking with someone else. And it is daylight)

2. Stopping bullying behavior: I've read about separating out the bullying hen, but how would you address a bullying incident if you are there while it is occurring? Not sure how humane or effective this is, but I was thinking of having my character throw a bucket of water at the aggressor to get it to stop, or spray it (not hard) with a hose. He is standing on the other side of the enclosure and wants to break it up immediately.

3. In your experience, what are the top 4 most bullying and most docile breeds when it comes to pullets? I know this breed is rare, but where would the Araucana, in general, fall in that spectrum?

I will also be posting a few other questions in the threads specific to Araucana and Feeding & Watering.

If anyone is willing to be a subject matter expert for me, either reply here or send me message.

Thank you so much.
 
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donrae

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Jun 18, 2010
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1. Yes, a higher ranked hen would peck a lower ranked hen while eating treats. This would usually happen if the lower ranked hen had not already moved away when the higher hen approached (that's what usually happens). It's not usually a big thing, just a peck to say "Hey, I'm meaner than you and you need to move", and the lower bird makes a little fuss and moves away.

2. Some folks use a hose or spray bottle on aggressive roosters, so your scenario isn't too far out of line. The only problem I see with the bucket of water is availability. Is the owner walking around with a bucket of water already? If the owner witnesses an incident severe enough to warrant interference, they're not going to take time to find a bucket and fill it with water. If they already have it, fine. Or if they're watering and have a hose running, also fine. For me, the most likely response would be to yell/make noise and use my foot to push the offender away from the victim.

I've never really had a breed be more of a bully than any other. Older hens tend to be more dominant, regardless of breed. More docile breeds are your ornamental birds as a rule....silkies, cochins, sultans, polish, brahmas, breeds like that. I've never had a true Aracauna so can't help you there.

Good luck on your story!
 

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