HELP. Just got my first chickens - they won't let the youngest eat!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SoManyHats, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all! I just got my first 6 chickens yesterday! This morning when I fed them I hung around to watch them. There's one chicken that the others won't let it. Every time she gets near the food, they bully her away. She might get a few pecks in, but then they go after her. I ended up giving her a separate bowl of food. Last night she was all alone on the roosting post while the other girls huddled together. Are they shunning her for some reason? She's three weeks younger than the rest - would that make a difference? Should I be worried?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It sounds like the youngster is at the bottom of the pecking order and her age could be a factor, but you didn't say how old they are? Also, did they come from the same place or did they meet at yours? I'd suggest continuing feeding her separately and see if things improve and they settle down and let her into the group.
     
  3. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The older ones are about 20 weeks, the younger one is about 17 weeks. She's also the only one of her breed, if that makes any difference. They all came from the same home, so they've been living together prior to this.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It's funny how chickens are about breed and others who do or do not look like them! I have always had a mixed flock but I notice that birds of the same breed always flock together and roost together. Even when younger birds are introduced they eventually gravitate towards those like themselves. Are the older birds in your flock all the same breed? If so is there any chance of getting a couple more of her breed? If not you'll just have to see how things go and hope that they all settle in eventually. As mentioned I'd keep an extra feeder or two out.
     
  5. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's 3 of one kind, 2 of another. I don't know where I'd get more her age, except where I got her - but that's way far away!
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well it's probably not that big of a deal then if the rest of the flock is mixed as well. It's probably just that she's a bit younger maybe. If they were all the same and she was the only different bird sometimes that's an issue.
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're almost full grown so it's not like she's gonna starve to death; if they were 5 day old bittys then I'd be concerned.
    I often have that problem after a broody hen weans her bittys and I throw her back in the layer pen. I simply put out another feed pan, and throw some scratch on the ground here & there so she can grab a few bites here and there until they get back with the program, which takes about a week.
    As far as the roosting situation, as long as they are letting her roost, all is well. Mine will throw each other off the roost and I have to hang dividers so the bullied hen can find a "peck free zone."
    Hope this helps.
     
  8. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's funny is that she is the only one that actually slept on the roost last night. The others just huddled together in a corner. I thought they wouldn't like her being higher than them, but apparently they didn't care. She was probably happy to be queen of the manor for a night! [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It'd be funny if she pecks them off the roost and ends up being the head hen. :)
     
  10. Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they settling in? Things should be sorting out by now.
     

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