Alex998

In the Brooder
Sep 8, 2021
18
31
44
Hello! New chicken owner here, and I have 17 chickens (1 Rooster 16 Hens). One of them is pretty old and is very small, and the other hens (never the rooster) will peck her head and pick on her. There is no visible damage on her head, and no missing feathers. However, whenever I open the egg laying compartment, she is almost always there and is trying to escape. When I open the main door, she'll also try to escape. I also have a run for the chickens, about 25 sq ft, and if I put her in there, she'll just run to me and the other hens might peck her and she will be very afraid. I do not know the cause of this. Could it be stress? I have added some more hens this summer, but until about a week ago they were fine and were in the run together, with very little pecking. It only started this week. Could it be the other hens sensing sickness in her? She does not appear sick and is pretty nimble and is very friendly to people. The last reason I could think of is overcrowding, but I would say I have enough space, but I am not certain. I am just worried that she is sick or the other hens are stressed.

Help Appreciated!
This the hen I am talking about:
Bell bottoms.jpg
 

Alex998

In the Brooder
Sep 8, 2021
18
31
44
Is the run space a big empty rectangle or is there clutter to provide hiding spaces? How many feeders do you have, and are they placed far apart with something to break line of sight so birds can't guard food?
The run is a big empty rectangle, and there are 3 feeders, with one of them being right next to the egg laying hatch.
 

BecaHawaii

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Jun 29, 2020
179
329
131
Kalaoa, HI - Big Island
Hello! New chicken owner here, and I have 17 chickens (1 Rooster 16 Hens). One of them is pretty old and is very small, and the other hens (never the rooster) will peck her head and pick on her. There is no visible damage on her head, and no missing feathers. However, whenever I open the egg laying compartment, she is almost always there and is trying to escape. When I open the main door, she'll also try to escape. I also have a run for the chickens, about 25 sq ft, and if I put her in there, she'll just run to me and the other hens might peck her and she will be very afraid. I do not know the cause of this. Could it be stress? I have added some more hens this summer, but until about a week ago they were fine and were in the run together, with very little pecking. It only started this week. Could it be the other hens sensing sickness in her? She does not appear sick and is pretty nimble and is very friendly to people. The last reason I could think of is overcrowding, but I would say I have enough space, but I am not certain. I am just worried that she is sick or the other hens are stressed.

Help Appreciated!
This the hen I am talking about: View attachment 2827202
Make sure you have different levels for the birds to perch. Stumps, perches, milk crates, etc. Places to hide if needed.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
35,425
290,617
1,662
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
The run is a big empty rectangle, and there are 3 feeders, with one of them being right next to the egg laying hatch.
Again, pictures will help.
You need to put lots of things in the run including substrate on the ground for them to scratch around in. Add perches, logs, chairs, pallets leaning against each other for them to go under and fly up on.
IMG_20210820_151500845.jpg


Old wood saw horses and two cut down pallets leaning against eachother behind the brooder run.
IMG_20210726_132429818_HDR.jpg
 

Alex998

In the Brooder
Sep 8, 2021
18
31
44
Again, pictures will help.
You need to put lots of things in the run including substrate on the ground for them to scratch around in. Add perches, logs, chairs, pallets leaning against each other for them to go under and fly up on.
View attachment 2827553

Old wood saw horses and two cut down pallets leaning against eachother behind the brooder run.
View attachment 2827554
Will put stuff in, will take pictures later today. Thanks!
 

Alex998

In the Brooder
Sep 8, 2021
18
31
44
What I find weird though is the behavior only started this week, and they were fine before then, I wonder if anyone could explain that.
 

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