Fighting at roosting time

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Amina, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi guys, I need advice on what to do about my chickens fighting every evening when they go to roost. Here is the situation.

    I have had two hens and a rooster for a while who get along decently well. To fix my hen:rooster ratio, I got two pullets. They have been living together in the same coop/run for the last couple months, and the pullets don't get too picked on during the day. At night though, the adults won't let the pullets onto the roost with them, so they started sleeping together in one of the ventilation windows. While not ideal, this worked out okay for a while, but now they have outgrown it and only one of the pullets can fit up there. The other pullet still is not allowed to sleep on the roost with the adults. The pullets are now about 5 months old.

    I thought I could solve this problem by getting a totally separate roost and putting it on the other side of the coop. So I tried that, and one of the pullets tried to roost there, but when my rooster saw that, he got off of his perch, went up underneath the pullet and pecked hard, pulling out a big beak full of feathers. :( Once the pullet squawked and ran, he then went back over to roost with his two hens. One of the hens is also mean to them at roosting time, but at least I haven't seen her peck *that* aggressively.

    I'm thinking of taking the rooster and the more aggressive hen, and penning them separately from each other and from everyone else for about a week, and putting them back. I've had some success in the past using that method with hens, but does it work for a rooster?
     
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would try that and while they are out I would put up a divider fence on the roost so, it won't look the same when they come back. I have a pen that I added a second rooster to and the dominate rooster has his side with his favorite girls and the new rooster gets the other side of the roost and the girls that were lower in pecking order and everybody's happy.
     
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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Provide an additional elevated roost that is not directly attached to the current roost. I like so birds go roost with minimal disturbance lots of noise gives me and predator management measures are hard time.
     
  4. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is exactly what I did. I put in another roost that was not attached to the first roost, and I put it on the opposite end of the coop. when a pullet tried to use it, my rooster saw that and jumped down from his own roost, walked over to the other side of the coop, and pulled out a bunch of her feathers. It wasn't that he decided that he wanted the new roost, because after she ran, he went back over to the first roost and hopped back up there. Argh.

    fried green eggs, I like your idea of a divider. I'm going to try making a curtain to block the view from one roost to the other. Maybe that will help. If not, it's time for chicken jail for my rooster and maybe one of the hens.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Rooster has no interest in juveniles when he already has hens. He does not see the juveniles as females yet. Make so line of sight is broken when birds on roost.
     
  6. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems like the rooster is allowing my pullet to roost, now that the curtain is in place. :) I think she still needs to see it as a safe spot, but I think that should come in time.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    In time rooster and even other adults will accept the pullets. Generally, the mature roosters will accept newcomers before anyone else when the newcomer is female.
     

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