First timers in Massachusetts


May 21, 2015
My family and I just purchased our first half dozen chicks. We have two small children and are looking forward to collecting eggs and raising our flock. Based on my reading I picked two breeds often top rated for backyard flocks. I have 4 Rhode Island Reds and 2 Austrolorp. After procuring them a friend mentioned that his RIRs are aggressive with other hens and now I'm a bit worried that mine are going to "cannibalize" the sweeter austrolorp. Any suggestions?
Glad you have joined us.

I also thought RIR would be aggressive, but most folks report that only some are aggressive. My experience is only with BR and BO but each has a unique personality and even the mildest breed can be at the top of the order. I would suggest you just watch and see how they get along. You really won't see the final pecking order til they are past juvenile ages.
Hi & welcome! I also am new to raising chickens & live in MA. I have 1 RIR (rear left) she is a sweetie! 1 Barred Rock (middle) she's shy. 1 Buff Orp. (right) she's bossy. 1 Easter Egger (front - bum shot) she's jumpy. They are 2 wks old & began pecking @ my BO neck. She's my bossy one & I am surprised she let it happen. I cleaned & applied "pick no more" lotion & separated her with my BR who is more gentle. I can't blame them for pecking as it is instinct & I wouldn't say my RIR is the main culprit. The hardest thing is she can peck @ her own neck (even bandaged). Good luck with your new expanded family, I'm sure they will get along!
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided join our flock. Raising chickens is a wonderful experience for children. My granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) loves our chickens. I've raised Australorps for years and they are typically a very calm and gentle breed (my children and granddaughter made lap pets of them), and they are the best layers of the brown egg laying breeds. I've also raised RIRs. They are great layers and usually docile, but as your friend said, sometimes you get an aggressive one. If this happens with your flock, I would suggest getting some pinless peepers for your aggressive birds. They will enable your hens to eat and drink using their peripheral vision, but will not allow them to see straight ahead to peck at the other birds. If you are not familiar with pinless peepers, you can see them at Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.

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