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Hen fight....why now? UPDATE 9-20

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DDRanch, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    My little flock has been together for a couple of years now with no problems...no dust ups, no fights, everyone gets along well. I do not have a rooster.

    They got to free range this evening for a couple of hours and then I locked them up in their pen along with several plates of treats. I do this every night. After about 5 minutes, my GLW pecked my older australorpe (leader of the girls) hard enough to draw a speck of blood and loss of some feathers. They went at each other for a short time, ruffled neck feathers, bumping chests, flapping wings, flying feet, etc. until I got back in the pen and broke it up. I got between them, watched them, and they went at it again. Again I separated them but as soon as they could, back at each other again.

    I have put the GLW in a small crate inside the coop for the night. Food and water of course available.

    Was it the right thing for me to do to separate them for the night? Do I let them work it out? Why now?

    Thanks for your advice. My happy little flock is not so happy tonight. Well, I'm not anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sometimes a second up will challenge the top for the head spot. It happens time to time. That said, if the blood was minor and just a few feathers, I would let them fight it out, or you may inadvertently prolong their battle of pecking order.
     
  3. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Quote:My thoughts exactly...just a challenge for the top spot. Let them settle it among themselves.
     
  4. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Quote:Oh silkiechicken......ok then. Should they fight it out locked in their pen or free range? Is there a point when I would intervene?
    Anne
     
  5. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Quote:My thoughts exactly...just a challenge for the top spot. Let them settle it among themselves.

    OK, will do as you and silkiechicken advise. I am hoping this will be settled quickly.
     
  6. Lifestyle Lift Journey

    Lifestyle Lift Journey Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    22
    Sep 2, 2010
    Even though it's their natural behavior to challenge the top of the pecking order time to time, it's a little hard for the owner to watch isn't it?
    I hope they settle in very soon.

    Good luck!
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    As long as there is no major torn skin, let them have at it. It may take a single big fight, or over a week. Rare for any real injury though.
     
  8. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Quote:Yes, it is hard so I am remembering what you say about natural behavior. Thank you.
     
  9. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Quote:OK. Here we go.
    Anne
     
  10. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    959
    4
    131
    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    I totally feel you, same situation happened in my little flock last week. Everybody has been getting along for years now and all the sudden one of my SLWs totally turned on one of my Wellies. Neither of the girls are near the top of the pecking order, so maybe they were just grappling for 4th or 5th place?

    Anyways, just like you, I was one upset chicken mama. Hate to see the girls fighting, especially hurting each other. But, per the advice of another long time chicken owner, I put them back in together and let them squabble it out. A little blood was drawn over the course of two days, a few feathers flew, but everything is right as rain again.

    Good luck!
     

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