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Chickens changing coop preference and other maladies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hen habitue, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. hen habitue

    hen habitue Hatching

    Jul 18, 2009
    Greetings, fellow chicken aficionados,
    I've been reading The Forum ever since I bought my first flock of girls back in April 09. It has been highly informative and amusing. Here's the story: My first flock was thriving. On June 6th, my husband and I had to leave for Denver on very short notice. My dog Gannett, a Bernese Mtn. Dog, had shown no aggression towards the flock up to this point. Two days later, we received a call from the gal who was caring for our animals. My dog decided to go on a Chomp the Chickens Spree, decimating 26 of our 33 girls. It was indeed horrible. Found another home for my dog, and replenished our flock with 27 more on July 8th. My husband built another coop/brooder for the chicklets. We now have two coops on opposite sides of the large fenced yard. Our original 7 surviving girls have been happy in their old coop, where they roost and lay eggs. The 2nd group includes two roosters. All 27 of the new group roost in their coop. Lately, the older girls are choosing to roost with the 27. It is pretty crowded, while the old coop remains roost-less. None of the new girls or roos roost in the old coop.
    What is up? Question: Does this have anything to do with the older gals wanting to roost with the boys? There is no disruption with egg laying duties. Everyone wants to now roost together. Is there any way of splitting up the group? Should I be concerned? They all free range during the day when we are home. Otherwise they have a substantial fenced yard to explore. The original 7 get along well with the others.
    Also, our Americauna Rooster is randomly pinning down the younger pullets and pecking them. Doesn't seem like he is injuring them, yet, but it can't be pleasant for the girls. Is he just a bit of a bully or is this normal growing pains for a young rooster establishing territory and dominance? He is not aggressive towards us humans and rather likes being held. The other rooster is a Jersey Giant, and so far he is exhibiting no aggression towards the girls like his brother is. He is not surly towards humans at this time. Not much conflict between the two roosters.
    Any ideas? Suggestions? Thank you!

    Looking for answers from Worland, WY.

  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Chickens tend to be social critters. They perform better in a group. Where some go, they all go. Likely your older 7 decided the place to be was in the coop with the younger ones, since that was where everyone else was roosting. [​IMG]

    Your rooster behavior is typical of a young male, hormones and all. As he matures he'll be more settled.

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