Do you have problems with Delawares/white birds in with other colors?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    We have a mixed flock. Most are shades of brown and/or black (GLW, EE, BR, etc) but three are Delawares.

    I love these hens, they have great personalities, but they are a bit aggressive and are pulling the feathers from the vents, backs and necks of the other chickens. They stick together when they range, and don't seem to pick each others' feathers at all.

    Is this a Delaware thing, or perhaps a white bird in with other colors thing? I've sat and watched, and two of the three Dellies are the feather pickers. The other birds don't seem to be doing it. They're causing quite a problem with bare rumps.

    The two pickers are in a dog crate right now, and hopefully they will settle down on re-introduction after a week or so. But I'm looking at my chick order for spring, and while I'd really like more Dellies, I won't get them if they're going to be a problem. These three are from McMurray, if it makes a difference.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Are they from a hatchery? Just curious about that. I started with Delawares, parents were hatchery stock. Oh my, what an aggressive and flighty bunch! They plucked their Speckled Sussex coop mates bald one afternoon. They were terrible pickers. Sold all of them. Now, I've started with the true heritage Delawares from a breeder and they are like a different breed. They are a "mouthy" breed, exploring with their beaks, but not at all like the hatchery stock. In fact, I'll be hatching more and expanding the Delaware flock, starting this week.
    I've heard this over and over from other people, too. Your issue isn't uncommon with them.
     
  3. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    My Delaware girls don't have problems with the other breeds, even though they out number them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, these are Murray McMurray birds. Guess I won't include any in my order. Too bad, because they are my three favorite birds (out of 30). They're really causing a problem. Only the GLW are immune.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I think if you find some stock without hatchery roots, you'll see a difference. Some have had good luck with them, but myself and others haven't. The breeder/exhibition lines seem much better tempered, generally.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I know that seriousbill has them here. I may try for some non-hatchery birds this year, since I really do love their personalities.

    However, with the two pickers I have now, do you think that this "time out" in a dog crate will work, or do I have to eat them?
     
  7. Catfishingpokey

    Catfishingpokey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have 12 delis 4 astralorps and a couple of others all from ideal hatchery and i havent had any picking problems at all.
     
  8. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    I've got my Delawares in the same coop with silkies, bantam orps, black australorps, EEs, bantam cochins, and bantam favorelles....no problems whatsoever with them picking on the others. They're actually the friendliest breed of the bunch...my 3 year old carries one of the roos around in his arms. And mine can be traced back to Murray McMurray hatchery.
     
  9. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    iv got 2 delewares they came from meyer hatchery there 9 months old.no problems with the rest of the flock of orps nh. reds etc.etc. nice calm birds.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not all hatchery Dels are aggressive, but someone apparently was breeding an aggressive strain at one point because I've heard stories like mine over and over. So, not all of them are terrible, temperament-wise, but many have been. I'm very pleased with the new ones I'm starting with.
     

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