chickens injuring one another

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mwaallen, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. mwaallen

    mwaallen New Egg

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    We have a crabcakes who is really down on one of the other chickens in a 4 chicken flock. The problem is that its not funny - she is really hurting the other chicken - drawing blood on head and feet. We've had to separate them just to let her heal up.

    Crabcakes is also pretty nasty to us when we go in the run as well, but we of course can control her.

    Is there any way to break this habit other than roast chicken for dinner?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Reasons for aggressive behaviors in chickens include, crowding, not enough exercise or things to do, protein deficiencies, some breeds are more aggressive than others, and some individuals are more aggressive.

    More information is needed about your set up, your birds, and your management of them in order to figure out what's going on.

    Most times it has to do with there not being enough room mentally, for all birds to get away from each other and for them to burn off energy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What breed(s) are the birds involved? What are the dimensions of the coop and of the run? Are the birds confined 24/7 or do they free range - if they free range, for how long and how often? How old are these birds and how long have they been together as a flock?
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Meant to add - Welcome to BYC, so glad you've joined us!
     
  5. mwaallen

    mwaallen New Egg

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    Thanks so much for the help!

    They have been together from chicks, there are four of them. They don't free range, and the coop is about 5x5 with an outside run about 10x10. Two are black and white silkies (the aggressive ones), the one being hounded is a plain white nondescript, and there is a buff who stays out of it all.

    Their diet is extremely varied - these are some seriously pampered chickens! As a result, I doubt it's dietary. Your advice on letting them out has probably got the most merit. We have a few hawks and owls around, so we need to find some way to guard them if we let them wander, but I would think they would certainly benefit. We may also try hanging some treats so they have to jump - that might improve their exercise regime!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    10x10 run for 4 birds is plenty of space...especially if there are roosts, stumps, places to perch on top of or lounge underneath.

    An 'extremely varied diet' is not always the best diet for optimal poultry health.
    It can dilute the needed protein and/or essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids needed for effective nutrient uptake.

    How old are these birds and how long have they all lived together?
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Most bad Bird behaviours are diet related....Try going back to strictly feed for a month and only give treats once a week....I bet you will see changes in the Birds behaviour....

    Best wishes......;)


    Cheers!
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since Crabcakes is also nasty to you when you go into the run is there any chance she is a he? How about the other bird? If the birds are young, might you have two cockerels?
     
  9. mwaallen

    mwaallen New Egg

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    Thanks all,
    Birds are a little older than one year, and have always been a flock from chicks. We had 5 and one was for sure a roo, so he went away. There's very little chance that this one is male - we have been watching the egg production pretty close and although we can't be 100%, I think the likelihood small.
    Maybe we will try the nutrition angle too. They have standard feed in plenty but they are getting treats pretty much every day.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Lay off the goodies, and try giving them more things to do in the run to keep them busy. A pile of leaf litter, grass clippings, or some hay can keep them busy for days.
     
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