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chicken pecking/chasing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by simonas011, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. simonas011

    simonas011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Hello,

    We have very very recently purchased some hens. A 10-12 week leghorn, 12 week australorp and a 14-15 week gold laced wyandotte. All from the same place. They were bought about 4pm on Friday, they eat together, huddle together and seem very protective of each other. They even groom each other. The next say, less than 24hours later we added a 12 week light sussex to the flock. From the same farm. We don't plan on adding anymore. When she was put in the coop she kept her distance from the others and the australorp and wyandotte pecked her one each. We were concerned and kept an eye on them. Basically the first 3 huddle together and the new one would stay off in a corner somewhere by herself. They didn't chase her and peck her anymore they would just scare her off of she approached. That evening we sat in the enclosure with them and things seemed better. The wyandotte and australorp lay down to sleep next to her and there was no problem. This morning when i went to feed them. The wyandotte runs from one end of the coop to the other to chase the sussex away. The behaviour seems worse now not better. From what I've seen there hasn't been any aggressive pecking and certainly no feather pulling or blood drawn. Are they just establishing pecking order and this will settle down or will the isolating progress to abuse? I can't really separate them because at this stage i have nowhere to do so, but if it's the only option i will work something out. Is there anything i can do to help get them to get along? New to chicken keeping and don't really know how to handle this :(
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! They are working out the pecking order. One thing that is important is space. 4 square feet of floorspace per bird in the coop. If the coop is too small they get on each others' nerves. [​IMG]
     
  3. simonas011

    simonas011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Thank you for responding so quickly :). We have a 5m x 5m coop, so 25m2, which i believe is sufficient? Am i understanding correctly that i should just leave them be and they'll sort it out amongst themselves? :D
     
  4. zippy123

    zippy123 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think they are just settling on pecking order and I wouldn't be too worried if they are all similar sizes.

    I had a similar issue recently when I got rid of two roos and replaced with two new hens - pecking got worse initially and then fine after a week. I had to separate mine for a few days as one of the new ones was smaller than the rest and would have been bad for her. The other one which was fully grown held her own. You have plenty of space in your coop so just keep an eye on things to make sure no blood is drawn and it should be fine in a week :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  5. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like the others said. They may have come from the same farm, but that doesn't mean they remember each other or even hung out. If they're similar sizes eventually they'll give in and the school yard bullying will end.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How refreshing it is to hear someone has plenty of room for their birds. :)
    4 birds in that large of a space is like chicken utopia!

    Put out multiple feed/water stations spread far apart, a separate roost or place for the to get up and away if need be.
    Some 'hiding' places our of 'line of sight' without creating a dead end trap....like leaning some boards up against a wall can help too.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. newwestchick

    newwestchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would be sure to put out at least two food and water stations for now, so your little Sussex will not go hungry while they're adjusting. Someone is always the low one on the totem pole, so if she's not being injured (bleeding) I wouldn't further intervene.
     
  8. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed.
     

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