HELP!! One of my chickens is getting picked on!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by luckysevens, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. luckysevens

    luckysevens New Egg

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    Jan 14, 2010
    Hello everyone --

    I have 5 six month old pullets (barred rocks, EE, silver laced wyandotte & black star) that were hatched together & raised by us since they were 3 days old. On Saturday, my husband & children discovered the silver laced wyandotte bleeding from a cut near her comb. No one saw what happened.

    Unless they are free ranging, she is kept away from the others (she currently spends her nights in a large dog crate in our laundry room). When everyone is out she is mostly left to herself, but there are times that either the barred rocks or the black star go after her & peck her back or head. She usually is able to run away or a person breaks up the pecking. We have applied pine tar to the cut & the area surrounding it.

    I'm very confused as to why this has happened -- the girls free range for 2-3 hours a day, live in a 4x2 hen house with a 4x12 run & before this happened I would have guessed that she was near the top of the pecking order. She is the only one that this is happening to -- it doesn't seem to be a case of 1 chicken bullying all the others.

    Since the week prior to this starting we have been leaving a red light on in the hen house at night because it has been so cold -- could this have something to do with the problem? Will taking the light away make the picking stop? How long should it take to re-introduce her once the picking does end?

    Having a house chicken is not a long-term solution, so any advice is very welcome! My entire family is very attached to all of these girls & we want to find a way for them all to live together in one space peacefully.

    Thanks!
     
  2. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    The red light is not a problem, they are recomended if chicks are pecking each other. Try putting a Flock Block in with them. It is a 25 lb block of compressed seeds ,grit and oyster shell. you can get them at your purina dealer. It gives them something to peck at. I have several and don't have any problems with fighting and pecking even thaough I have multipe roos together.
     
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Red light is USUALLY not a problem, but it wouldn't be the first time that removing the light fixed some more agressive behaviors.

    I personally like the chickens to work their order out on their own. The more you interefere by separating the longer the whole ordeal takes. They call it a Pecking order for a reason. Having said that....boredom might be a problem. Try hanging treats so they can barely reach it....and perhaps put food in several places in the their pen, so the low chicken in the pecking order can always get food without having to go near the alpha chickens.

    Good luck
    Sandra
     

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