FIGHTING / BULLYING over one nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jessijohnson412, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. jessijohnson412

    jessijohnson412 New Egg

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    Oct 14, 2014
    I have 5 chickens, they a have a lot of room and they have 5 nesting boxes yet they all insist on using the same box. I get about 5-6 eggs every 2 days so I don't think they are all laying yet but 2-3 of them definitely are. I didn't think it was so bad that they were using the same nesting box until I noticed today that one of my hens (barred rock) has big hatches of feathers missing around her big area and it is very pink and irritated. As I stayed a while and watched them, a different hen went into the one nesting box and was scratching around to sit and lay. Then my bully hen (white rock) raced over and pecked at her until she left the box. A few minutes later she returned and the bully/ white rock (named April) came back and pecked at her again until she left. That is when it occurred to be that is why my barred rock is missing her feathers, April is pulling them out for laying in "her" box....I am not sure how to stop my white rock from bullying everyone who tries to lay or to get them to use other boxes. This all happened when there were no eggs in the nesting box I had already taken them out so it wasn't her being protective over her eggs. Hopefully someone has experienced this and can help me! I really really hate to see one of my hens look like their behind is in pain!!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Not sure if you have seen it, but there is a nice article on bully behavior in the Learning Center. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bullying-behavior-in-chickens I would consider separating out the bully hen you have for a few days or longer to see if it knocks her down in the pecking order, and/or put Pinless Peepers on her, those usually stop feather pluckers when they are on.
    With the fuss over one certain nest box, if mine get too bad about that, I will close off the "favorite" box for awhile, and be sure to have fake eggs in all the other nest boxes and make sure they are attractive to the hens, this should get them laying in other boxes, hopefully more than one.
    You could also try a community nest box, that is one really big box that is too big for one hen to guard, but if you have a really bully hen you may still have to do something about her.
     
  3. jessijohnson412

    jessijohnson412 New Egg

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    Oct 14, 2014
    Thank you! This was very helpful and I am going to try all of the above!! Will update in a few days or a week :) thanks again
     

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