Cowarding Chicken Behavior - HELP!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by IslaBean, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. IslaBean

    IslaBean Songster

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    Jul 19, 2017
    I need help!! I raised 10 chickens from when they were only two weeks old. We didn't know whether they were roosters or hens yet, but we knew we'd eventually have to get rid of the roosters due to city laws. The chickens are currently about 15 weeks old. I let my chickens free range during the day, and at night I close them in their coop. Here is a guide to my chickens: (I will refer to them as Chicken#1, Chicken #2, etc.)
    1. rooster (crows)
    2. rooster (crows)
    3. rooster (crows)
    4. most likely hen (much smaller)
    5. most likely hen (much smaller)
    6. most likely hen (much smaller)
    7. most likely hen (much smaller)
    8. either hen or rooster (doesn't crow, but hangs out with roosters)
    9. either hen or rooster (doesn't crow, but hangs out with roosters)
    10. either hen or rooster (doesn't crow, but looks like rooster)

    Chickens #1,#2, and #3 have been crowing since they were 12-13 weeks of age (2-3 weeks ago). Chickens #1 and #2 have shown signs of dominance toward the rest of the flock (They tend to peck the backs of the other chickens). About a week ago, I noticed that Chicken #10 was not present with the rest of the flock as they were walking through the field. I found Chicken #10 hiding in the corner of the coop. Whenever the flock spotted Chicken #10, they would chase after him/her. All of the chickens except for Chickens #4, #5, #6, and #7, would chase Chicken #10 through the field. They would continue to peck at Chicken #10 until they'd corner him/her in a bush and one chicken would hold him/her down by the neck. This is where I would hear the squawking and scoop up Chicken #10 before they hurt him/her. I'm not quite sure what would happen after this because I always broke it up at this point. I noticed that the Chicken #8 was generally the one who would spot Chicken #10 and start chasing him/her first. The others would soon join in. I also noticed that during their mad chase after Chicken #10, they would sometimes peck at each other, usually the one who was winning the race after Chicken #10. It seemed as if they were competing with each other to see who could get Chicken #10. As time progressed, Chicken #10 hid more often and the chases were more violent. Since Chicken #10 would spend his/her days in hiding more often, the last two days I would bring Chicken #10 up by our house, where the other chickens would hardly ever go. Chicken #10 started to follow me wherever I went. The previous night, instead of taking his/her spot on the lowest perch in the roost, Chicken #10 found a comfy spot in a bush to spend the night. I don't want Chicken #10 to spend his/her life in complete isolation, so the following day I put her inside the coop and closed the doors for the day. The other chickens were free ranging and they hardly ever even go in their coop or run during the day anyways. I put a separate dish of food and water outside the coop so that the other chickens wouldn't have a reason to enter the run or coop. Chicken #10 spent almost the entire day in the coop instead of the run because the other chickens tried to peck at him/her through the fence of the run. Even when Chicken #10 was out of sight inside the coop, one or two chickens would circle the coop/run, trying to find a way in. A couple days ago, I also gave Chickens #1 and #2 a new home at a nearby farm because they were starting to crow too loudly. Chickens #1 and #2 were definitely the more dominant of the flock. I had hoped that this would help Chicken #10's case, but it didn't seem to have an affect.

    Please give any advice you have. I am in desperate need and don't want this to go on any longer. Please, please help. Ask any friends who would maybe have a solution. I don't want my poor chicken to have to hide the rest of his/her life! Thank you!!!
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Free Ranging

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    Could you post individual side pics of your chickens so we can sex them for you? It sounds like you either need to get rid of 10 or the other troublemakers. Sometimes it's better to get rid of the one that's getting picked on than all the ones that are picking on him/her.
     
    andreanar and IslaBean like this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    You have too many hormonal roosters probably. Time to start removing them before they start killing each other.
     
    IslaBean likes this.
  4. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Did you candle today?

    Welcome to BYC.
    How about you post picture of each bird separately here:
    What Breed Or Gender is This?
    And we can help you figure out who is who (boy vs girl)
    which will help you figure out who needs to go to a new home.
     
    IslaBean likes this.
  5. IslaBean

    IslaBean Songster

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    Jul 19, 2017
    Here are the pictures:
    #1&2 (Crowing roosters now living on a farm)
    #3: (crowing - definite rooster)
    #4:
    photo 1 (1).JPG photo 2 (1).JPG
    #5:
    photo 2 (2).JPG photo 1 (2).JPG
    #6:
    photo 2 (3).JPG photo 1 (3).JPG
    #7:
    photo 1 (4).JPG
    #8:
    photo 2 (5).JPG photo 1 (5).JPG
    #9:
    photo 3 (1).JPG photo 2 (6).JPG
    #10
    photo 4.JPG photo 2 (7).JPG photo 1 (6).JPG

    Let me know if this helps solve my problem. Thank you so much!!!
     
  6. RoostersAreAwesome

    RoostersAreAwesome Free Ranging

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    #4 is a hen
    #5 is a hen
    #6 is a hen
    #7 is a hen
    #8 is a roo
    #9 is a roo
    #10 is a roo
     
    aart and IslaBean like this.
  7. IslaBean

    IslaBean Songster

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    Jul 19, 2017
    Thanks!
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  8. IslaBean

    IslaBean Songster

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    Jul 19, 2017
    So what can I do to stop this cowarding behavior?
     
  9. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Did you candle today?

    Remove the meanies or remove the chicken! lol
     
    IslaBean likes this.
  10. RoostersAreAwesome

    RoostersAreAwesome Free Ranging

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    Put the 2 bullies into a separate cage/pen/coop together. Or put the bullied roo into a separate cage/pen/coop. Or, get a bunch more hens (it might not work though).
     
    IslaBean and KikisGirls like this.

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