Free-ranging, does it help with pecking order issues?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MommyMagpie, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2011
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    I've got a real pecking order problem in my flock of 2 Red Star and 4 LF Cochin pullets. One of the Cochins has abused another one until she has a nasty wound on top of her head. I let them all out today to free range in the yard; the two offending pullets got into a fight in the yard and I ended up putting the instigator back into the run alone while the other 5 remained out. If I continue to allow them time out of the run during the day, will they find enough to occupy themselves so this will end? I'm hoping this is just a change-of-weather thing and once their hormones settle things will get better, but if anyone else has any thoughts I'm willing to hear them. (Just hoping they are not too ignorant and are able to find the run at the end of the day.......)
     
  2. hispoptart

    hispoptart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is the run they have? If they are to crowded that will lead to pecking. If you can allow them to free range that should help. They will find their way back to the run and coop when it's time for bed. Also isolating the offender for a day or two will reset the pecking order.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  3. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    The run is about 70 square feet. They are let out of the coop about 6 am and they are shut in after they put themselves to bed in the evening.

    I should add that when the kids took the house dogs out to do their business a little while ago, the 5 pullets that were loose in the yard were all poking around near the gate to the run, and when DD12 opened the gate they went in all by themselves. So they do know where "home" and "bed" are located!
     
  4. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    Discovered this morning that the pullet that started all the trouble is broody. We had an argument this morning when I went out to collect the eggs. I won, but she was NOT happy I took her eggs.....I took a perverse pleasure in telling her that she can sit from now until the end of the world and those eggs will never hatch, [​IMG]
     
  5. wvtim

    wvtim Out Of The Brooder

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    you need a rooster to help with pecking order and to give that hen a reason to sit on those eggs
     
  6. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is your coop?
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I've free ranged for the past 6-7 years or so without any pecking order displays at all...I've never had a bird in my flocks "picked on" and never had any hen inflict a wound upon another. So...I'd say...YES...free ranging and having enough room in that range to allow for separation from each other, for proper social interaction, etc. seems to make for a very peaceful flock.
     
  8. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    Free range has gotta help. Just the fact there is room to run away.
     

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