HELP Chicken Fight Club in my backyard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Duckmom1980, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Duckmom1980

    Duckmom1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Everyone,
    I am having some issues with my small flock of 4. I have a Jersey Black Giant & a Golden Sex Link that are 2 years old. I also have 2 Auracanas that are 1 years old. When the younger ones were introduced there were definitely issues among the two different groups. After some time passed things seemed to get better. Lately, 3 chickens have been ganging up on my sweetest little Auracana. She is molting and looks awkward right now. They are fed organic layer feed and have a large yard to do what they please in and at night they go into their coop. It's more than enough space for 4 chickens. In the mornings when they first come down it seems to be the worst. This morning I could hear her screaming inside my house so I ran outside and and the Auracanas were in a brawl and the others were just standing there watching. What is going on? I'm afraid they might kill her. She's small and doesn't seem to put up much of a fight. Is this a nutritional deficiency or are chickens just jerks? I need some advice to fix the problem or I am going to have to get a second coop. Thanks in advance for your help. [​IMG]
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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    chickens are jerks if they haven't grown up as a flock, even then they can be jerks

    Since she's molting and most likely not laying eggs, I'd switch the flock to a higher protein grower ration with oyster shell on the side for those still laying.

    What else are they eating besides layer pellets?

    Make sure there are multiple food and water sources so they can't keep her from eating.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree it could be a molting issue. The aggressor may see that the molting bird is at a disadvantage right now and is taking this chace to move up the ladder in the flock order. My feelings are always unless there's blood or serious injury, leave them be and work it out themselves (kinda like I raise my kids, lol). Be sure there are places for the birds to hide from each other and maybe set up an extra feeder. If you pull her from the flock, it's going to be a PITA when you put her back, each bird will test her and it can be a mess for her to re-eatablish her place in the flock. If it's just a lot of noise, let them be. As long as she's still fighting back, she's not giving in or ready to be the lowest bird, so pulling her will do more harm in the long run IMO.

    If you've got molting birds, I agree on re-thinking your feed. Organic layer pellets are the lowest protein feed and don't as a rule have any animal protein. Birds need more protein to re-grow all those feathers. If you want to stay organic, I'd look at chick starter or grower for a few months (until spring, basically) and offer oyster shell on the side to give them access to calcium. You might also look into an organic animal protein to supplement your birds. There are good threads on raising mealworms, etc.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    They are being chickens. just get or build a second coop. When chickens molt or change appearances things like this are common. Now the hen's (in your own words) awkward look has exposed her as a weak sister to her coop mates and if there is anything chickens can't abide it is weakness or the appearance of weakness.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    donrae is 110% correct.

    Fish oil capsules or GOF Cod liver oil is another method to supplement chicken feed with the animal protein that is essential and that can't be provide by any other form of chicken feed. What you're looking for is a complete form of vitamin A and D not some phony analog form. Good dry or canned dog & cat food will work as well if you ignore the fact that it may not be 100% "organic" according to your definition. Remember that you can buy "organic" arsenic, ricin, strychnine, night shade, rounote, and larva of the chrysomelid beetle, but that neither one of these deadly organic poisons are considered a health food, at least not by me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Fish oil and cod liver oil are nutritious. However they are not a source of protein. There is zero protein in those items. Hence the word, oil. Oil means fat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
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