1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Chicken pecking and drawing blood?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Curlymg, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Curlymg

    Curlymg Out Of The Brooder

    61
    1
    41
    Mar 21, 2012
    Rio Rico, Arizona
    One of my chickens, who is about 8 months old or more, has started pecking, plucking and drawing blood from my Polish rooster's top head feathers. It's been a while that this has been going on but just recently she started drawing blood. The rooster in no way defends himself, isn't it supposed to be the other way around? I got them both at the same time, when they were about 4-5 months old and she has always been a little mean.. I am first time backyard chicken owner so I don't know why this is happening. Anyways, I ignored this behavior until something terrible happened. About 3 weeks ago I got a 4 month old chicken, and I kept her alongside the others' coop so they could see each other. Nothing happened for about 2 weeks, and I finally placed her into the coop. The rooster slightly bullied her but then they became pals, sharing the same roosting pole and literally cuddling together. The other chicken was not happy. When she'd get the chance, she'd pluck a feather from her and the rooster would actually defend the little one! I read somewhere on here that it was normal. 3 days later, after coming home from school the little chicken's tail feathers were almost gone, her back was bald and bleeding A LOT and the scary part, both the other chicken AND rooster seemed to be eating her! I immediately seperated the little one, and it seems like she will heal.
    I apologize for such a long post, I just thought it was important to know how this started and so on. A few details, they have a fairly large chicken run and they always have some grass or scratch to mess around with, and dirt. I'm sure that the evil chicken wasn't just 'bored'. So what can I do about this evil chicken?
     
  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,056
    53
    171
    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    It is normal, natural behavior. They have a pecking order, and the one at the top can be quite a bully. However, it will not stop if you have a mean hen. Just because it's natural, that doesn't mean it's going to be a nice, comfortable situation. You'll have to make a decision whether or not to get rid of a chicken or two.

    I have a hen who is the "rooster" of the yard. She's a gentle girl, except when asserting her dominance over the other chickens. We have a huge yard, and the other hens just accept the pecking order, so it's rarely a problem. When they do fight, it's short-lived because the dogs break it up. [​IMG] But she will never be a sweet, docile hen to the other chickens. That's just not her personality. On cold days when they stay cooped up, a bit of bullying starts up.
     
  3. Curlymg

    Curlymg Out Of The Brooder

    61
    1
    41
    Mar 21, 2012
    Rio Rico, Arizona
    Thank you! I was worried I did something wrong to cause all this. Anyways, later today I'm going to call the guy I got all of the chickens from and tell him what's going on. I'm hoping he'll take them all back and I can start with day-old chicks this time.
     
  4. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,056
    53
    171
    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    All of my chickens that have been raised together get along. That doesn't mean it's the same in every case. But I have 4 groups of chickens that have been raised together. With the exception of a little posturing between my 4-wk-old rooster chicks, they get along. Introducing 6 pullets to 4 hens, though... there was a little blood for a few days, until they figured it out. But again, I don't have any that are exceptionally mean. Just one who insists on being the queen.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by