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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AngryRooster, Feb 27, 2012.
I have a hen that is constantly pecked on and excluded. What can I do to stop this from happening?
Who is it that is picking one her?
So, this is a common problem, and unfortunately it may not have a simple solution. I have had this happen inside my own flock, and I own two other rescue birds that I acquired due to this very circumstance. If you have a flock that is known to be semi aggressive, or assertive rather than docile, this behavior is more common. That being said, if the chickens have plenty of space to roam and things to do during the day (i.e. foraging) they will pick on each other less. Try spreading some seed or treats (fruit or veggies) on the ground, instead of using just the feeder if possible. Make their area to forage as big as possible so they don't get bored. I throw mine whole heads of lettuce and they love chomping away at them for hours.
If you have a mixed flock with 2 or more breeds, and she is the only one of her breed, you can add another one, or one that looks like her. I had a black and white laced polish that was picked on in a very mixed flock (I have only 1 of each breed usually) and I ended up getting a barred rock (also black and white and looks like bigger version of the polish, without the plumage on the head) and that seemed to help immensely since they a) had somebody new to focus on and b) the "birds of a feather flock together" actually held true in my case. I also have a rescued black silkie that had every single feather snapped when she came to us, and would only hide under the coop the first two weeks she was with us since she was terrified. Once she discovered we had a little white silkie friend for her, they would share the hiding spot, and eventually she came out of hiding. She is bottom of the pecking order in my flock, but she doesn't get picked on, nor her feathers snapped, so that's a positive outcome.
I have to admit I have sold one of my girls because I didn't like her attitude. She was an Easter Egger named Bunny, and I loved her dearly as a chick. As a full-grown hen she was middle of the pecking order, but she was vicious to the ones below her. We went to the pet E.R. twice with one of my show birds because she wouldn't leave her alone. I ended up re-homing her with a friend who only had Americaunas and Aracaunas (Easter Eggers) and she has been a well-behaved bird ever since. Some birds are just more aggressive than others, so when you've tried everything else, you may have to re-home the victim or the aggressor. Hope that helps!
A Rhode Island Red is the one pecking just to tell you. Are they usually this agressive?
I've not had good experience with RIR's, but I'm sure many here will tell you otherwise. If it were me I'd get rid of the aggressive hen and see what that does.