Could this be why???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by savingpurple, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I still have my hen that is causing me stress...[​IMG] Quick senario....

    Badly injured as a 2 day old chick. Took care of her (Ms Pissy), and she survived. She was then put with the other injured chick I had(purple butt), but in the same box as my other 5 hens, seperated by a screen. As soon as they were healed enough, the screen came out and they were all together. So, basically always raised together.

    Never had an issue until a little over a month ago, about the time the Ms Pissy started to lay eggs.

    Have tried isolation, seperation, and now have her crated until I can figure out what to do with her. We recently enlarged the outdoor run, and she seems so much more calm out there. So, with a glimmer of hope, tried the night time roosts again, letting her in with the others.

    Ms Pissy,and Purple butt are ALWAYS the 1st two on the roost at night, then they follow in order. Well, she went right back to pecking, and shoving the others off the roost, as if to say yuo are not at all allowed up here.

    Couple of questions.....

    Have added a second roost in hopes the hens might seperate more, and peace can come at night, and I can keep Ms PIssy?

    They won't use it. Am adding a ladder to it today to maybe see if then they will?

    Do you have different levels to your roosts? Do your chickens all have a level they prefer?

    I feel I have adequate spae in the coop, for the amount of hens I have.

    Could it be not enough roost space for my hens?

    I mean if she has more space outside and she has calmed down, then maybe it's something I am not doing right inside? Trying to make it right, but need help once again from the wonderful people on here?

    Do your chickens peck each other,and push and shove the others to get them off the roost every night? Or is Ms Pissy just living up to her name?

    I do apologize if this is in the wrong was on behaviour and coop design, so I was confused. Posted it in the coop design area also.

    Thanks in advance......
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    12" of roost per chicken is plenty. My roosts are all the same height because by the time they were in planning, I'd read on here several times that they will squabble for the "top" spot, which is the highest one, plus a particular place on the highest one. My flock gets along peacefully enough. There is an occasional peck to show how's who in the pecking order. There is also a bit of pecking and squawking at roost time, and squabbling over who gets which spot. No serious attacks, usually a single peck and maybe a resulting squawk. Blood is never drawn. I have read over and over that this is normal.

    If one chicken is attacking worse than this, especially if blood is drawn, the one to isolate is the bully, even if you have to isolate an injured one til healed. Isolating any of them for several days drops them to the low point in the pecking order. I have read they need to be isolated for a week, and I have read that isolating overnight has done the trick. I've also read that isolating them where everyone can see and hear each other is more effective.

    If they don't like a roost, perhaps it is too narrow or round to suit them. Large fowl seem to prefer something like the flat side of a 2x4 or a wide branch. Perhaps it is in a stuffy spot and they get better air circulation on another roost. Check the bottom of the roost for tiny crawling bugs, one of the mites/lice. They also seem to prefer to roost near a window or other light source. That's all I can think of at the moment with my pre-coffee brain.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If they are not bleeding don't worry about it. They will sort it out. I have a staggered height roost, and round closet pole roosts. Mine all prefer it to a flat board, which they could roost on above the nesting boxes, (I did have a broody hen that roosted there til her chicks were old enough for the traditional roosts.

    I was down there at midnight last night, and one of the 8 week old chicks had snuck in between to older hens. Provide them with enough room, and they will find a place to sleep. If she gets the whole top roost to herself, well she is the top hen, and winter will come and she will be glad for a little body heat.

    I think you need to leave them alone and let them sort it out.

  4. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    Ogden utah
    I personally have 3 roosts at differnt hights and yes they will all go for the highest one until it got hot now they are all spread out on all 3. I have 14 so they need a little room i have 3 that have always prefered the bottom roost. I have never seen any fighting for the top sofar they seem to get along great good luck [​IMG]
  5. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Thanks....I really appreciate your input.....I am trying everything for this hen....If she was mean to me or my family, then it would not be such a hard decision. She is so darn sweet with all of us....same as her other injured buddy....both leghorns, bith sweet as pie to us....

    Plus I feel with out me helping, they would have died. Ms. Pissy, most likely, her neck wound was bad...very bad.

    Again thanks.....

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