Hen-pecked pullet with twisted beak

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by berkeleychicks, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. berkeleychicks

    berkeleychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2011
    Hi all,

    Here's the situation: I have three layers and recently got three chicks, one of which turned out to have twisted beak. Now the chicks are 9 weeks old, and all the chickens have free run of our large yard. They seem to run in two flocks during the day, the little ones running whenever the big ones come around. I keep them separate at night (the coop is temporarily separated into two areas). Until last night, we had not had a problem with pecking.

    I have three questions...

    1. The big chickens seem to bully the little ones, especially around food sources. Will this ever change or will we always in essence have two flocks? The larger girls are all reddish chickens, while the younger three are a Dominique, a Black Austrolorpe, and a Wellsummer. Will the two black ones ever be accepted by the reddish girls, or should it not matter?

    2. Should I have them separated until the little ones catch up in size?

    3. The Dominique chick has twisted beak. She seems to be accepted fine by her "sisters" - the two chicks that have grown up with her - but last night she somehow got into the big chickens' part of the coop and they pecked and pecked at her. Do you think it is because of her twisted beak?

    Thanks, all.
     
  2. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    It takes time for flocks to integrate and sometimes, some birds will stay outsiders either by their own choice or the dominant birds will tell them they aren't welcome.

    I don't think the cross beak is being singled out, she's just one of those "little ones that doesn't belong" according to the big birds. But good of you to keep an extra eye on what's going on. Most importantly with the cross beak, make sure she's eating and gets enough time at the feeder.

    Having multiple waterers and feeders is the best way to feed any flock, as there will always be a pecking order and everyone deserves to eat unbothered.

    Give it time. We have six 17 week olds and three 13 week olds currently intergrating. Right now the younger group just stays out of the way of the bigger group. We have a two tiered coop, I keep food and water upstairs so the little ones can get away from the bigger chicks. It's only been 2 weeks, we didn't expect any miracles. But they are foraging together a little more when they free range. Just give it time and make sure the newer ones have safe places and food/water at all times.
     

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