Extreme fighting...what to do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ant, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Ant

    Ant In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2011
    Coastal South Carolina
    I need some experienced advice. I have 2 brown hens, one with a crossed beak, Chleo, and one not, Harley. Harley has always "picked on " Chleo is bit, but now, each morning when we let them out into their run, I find Chleo distressed, and often bloody around her beak or feet. This morning her wing was bloodied! This is their first winter and Harley is molting, Chleo never seemed to molt yet. I don't know what to do?! We are ready to give Harley to done friends with a big flock, but will Chleo be alright alone??? We are talking about getting done more chicks, but not until spring. I appreciate any suggestions!!!

  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    If Harley is moulting, is it possible she isn't getting enough protein and is eating Chleo's feathers? Just a thought....also, another possibility, are you sure Harley is a hen? You don't mention how old they are or if they're laying. If Harley is a boy, and you only have 2 chickens then "he's" over mating her. It is possible Harley is just a bully, if you rehome home her I'd find another friend for your lone hen asap. They don't do so well without company. Sorry I wasn't much help, good luck!
  3. Ant

    Ant In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2011
    Coastal South Carolina
    Hey, thanks. Harley is a hen, about 9 months old and she's been laying. I think the food is ok. They have a steady diet of purina layeena and i supplement with veggies, fruit, ricotta, leftovers, and the like. Harley continues to peck at Chleo. I often find Harley sitting on top of Chleo in the coop pecking at her. I have to give her away. Chleo is a cross beaked hen and I wonder if she'll always get picked on?? Would any one suggest an adult hen, or chicks? I work days and won't be able to observe the introduction of another adult to Chloe's coop and run. Any ideas? Is it really that bad to have her be alone until summer? I can get chicks then and be able to be with them more.
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    If there's blood, you need to separate the birds ASAP. Chickens will peck at bloody spots reflexively and will do real damage. I once had a pullet pecked clear down to the spine in just one night. Of course, I have a lot more birds--but it's still serious.

    I, along with others on these forums, have had great success with using peepers on pecking hens. Doesn't hurt them, and not permanent. I buy mine in a large package, but if you only need one or two I believe you can find them on ebay. Here's where I get mine: http://www.randallburkey.com/Pin-Less-Peepers-100-Pkg/productinfo/10097/#.UNy0CqzNl8E

    If you search these forums for peepers, you'll find a lot of advice about how to use them.

    I'd try using peepers before you give away your hen. And then get some more birds in the spring, because you'll have better flock dynamics with at least three chickens.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
    1 person likes this.

  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 8 Years

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Blood on feet is outside my experience with hens pecking at each other.

    Change up coop with roost and feeders in a new location. See if aggression stops.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by