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Estabilishing Pecking Order Aggression

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by roybus, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. roybus

    roybus New Egg

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    I had a flock of 4 which has dwindled down to 1 who is 1.5 years old. We just got 6 more birds (4x3 months old and 2x1 year old) and our existing bird is establishing herself at the top of the pecking order. How much aggression is too much in this process and how long does it take? When should I step in and stop the violence?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Integrating birds is never easy. Especially in your case, with only one original bird. It usually lasts a short time really, anywhere from a couple of days to couple of weeks. Unless there is real violence...blood shed, extreme feather plucking, then it is best to let it ride on it's own and allow everybody to get comfortable with their lot in life.

    If it turns really bad, then the aggressor will have to be separated so that they lose the "top order" and aren't so violent. The rest of the flock will also re establish themselves also. And if you have to separate one of them, this bird will need about 2 weeks confinement to change the pecking order. A large dog crate cage works great as "the naughty cage", where the aggressive bird can see everybody and they can see her. Only occasionally have I had to use solitary confinement to fix a mean bird. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Oh, and make sure to supply several areas for food and water during this time so that everybody has access to food and water. [​IMG]
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Depends on breed(s) and space available for the pecked on to avoid pecking. If area small, then you gotta watch at first to make certain pecked does not get damaged beyond loss of a few feathers. If birds free ranged then worries minimal other than dominant may not allow newbies to roost close by. Everything should settle down within a couple days. If birds confined to a coop, then move things around so local does not feel so local.
     

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