chickens suddenly starting to fight

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by frizzlekatie, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. frizzlekatie

    frizzlekatie New Egg

    Feb 22, 2014
    I've had chickens for over a year now and have got a lot of advice from the threads on here, but I can't find anything about what happened today!

    I have 5 chickens, we got them in pairs but one of the first two was killed by a dog a few months ago. We hatched the last two and they've grown up together, now about 10 months old. Theyre inseparable usually - an aracuna and a pekin. But today I went down and they were fighting quite viciously and and the pekin ended up bleeding from her comb.

    Why would they suddenly start to fight, and how do I treat the bleeding so it doesnt attract more pecks from the others in the flock?

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    Chickens turn on each other when they are cramped, bored, ill, have a bad diet, pecking order squabbles. The first thing you need to make sure is that you have enough room for them. If they feel cramped, they are going to fight. Give them things to do....hanging cabbages or veggies, seed pecking blocks, free ranging, etc...Boredom makes chickens cranky. Keep them on a good diet and make sure they are all healthy. Give the wounded one an over exam. Chickens know when one of their flock members is sick. In the wild they would run this one off if she were sick. Give them all a look over. And finally, if you have a bird that is just a bully, you can either permanently separate them, rehome them, eat them or put pinless peepers on them.

    For the wounds, the best thing is to spray on some Blu-kote. It will help to prevent infections and will cover the wound enough that the others wont see it. Respray every day till healed.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to BYC!
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X2 what TwoCrows said, they are also of an age where they are maturing and the pecking order often changes around then. You are sure they are both pullets?
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I'm thinking the two may both be males also - that would explain vicious fighting.
  6. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

  7. frizzlekatie

    frizzlekatie New Egg

    Feb 22, 2014
    They're free range so I don't think it's boredom, there's a lot of space and borders and things so they've got plenty to do.

    They're both females - only the aracuna is laying - could it be that my pekin is about to start laying? They seem ok today, just a bit wary around them all.

    These two are at the bottom of the pecking order - might they be fighting for the next place?

    Thanks for your replies!
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    When you get two free range pullets fighting you got problems. They are like two teenage girls fighting over a boy. Pretty soon the bully pullet is pecking the blood out of her victim every chance she gets. You might have to remove the bully from of the flock to allow the lower ranked pullet to gain time to heal and maintain her position in the flock.

    When you reintroduce the bully pullet, watch her for aggression. Normally in a flock consisting of no rooster you will have a hen assume the roll of rooster. She will mount other hens, boss them around, and might attempt to crow. However, if your dominant hen is consistently drawing blood, you will need to be more assertive in your attempts to keep peace. You can place 'peepers' on your aggressive hen which will limit her vision-BUT she will be at a disadvantage when looking out for predators-AND she may eventually learn to look around the 'peepers' and assume her aggressive behavior.

    If she continues to attack your other hen despite your efforts, it might be best to cull the bully from your flock-give her to someone else with full disclosure on the problem you are having with her.

    Hope this helps.

    Welcome to BYC!
  9. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    Sometimes it does help to remove the bully from the flock as it may lower her status in the pecking order but if shes that dominant then she may just be the bully all the time. Got to take into consideration the safety of many over the safety of one.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by