In the Brooder
- Mar 25, 2012
Ive got 3 RIR and 3 BO all the same age (7 months approx) and all are laying consistently. I know the behavioral tendencies between the RIR and BO and our girls have a pretty set pecking order. To help keep the peace, they are only in their coop during the night and free range during the day. Inside the coop they have separate hanging feeders and waterers as well as 5 different spaced out roosting poles. Several days ago when letting the girls out of their coop early in the AM I noticed one of the BO's had a finger of her crown gone with some blood dried around the top of her head and one scale missing from a foot. In the next couple of days i noticed a similar missing scale on the foot of another BO. I suspected some "fowl" play but wasn't sure who the culprit was. Yesterday when I put the girls in their coop for the night, I saw one of the RIR scoot over the pole she was roosting on to where a BO was on the other side of the same pole and proceed to first peck at her feet and then when the BO did not really move away she proceeded to grab ahold of her by the crown and the BO finally flew to another pole. I have noticed some similar pecking by this one RIR (Ruby) against the other BO's but only in the coop when they are all together (in the yard they all behave well). I know I can't prevent all such inter-flock behaviors but I still want to make sure my BO's aren't going to get bloodied up. Anyone have any good suggestions on something I can do to help keep this under control?