Hens at the bottom of the pecking order

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bt03, May 5, 2011.

  1. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    We got 4 chicks at the beginning of March and I had no idea what they were. They turned out to be Cornish Rock Broilers [​IMG] When They came I had no idea and really bonded with them. We lost one 2 weeks after getting them and another 2 weeks after that. The 2 girls that we have left are now 9 weeks old and I can't bring myself to cull them. They are the sweetest things I have ever seen and just love to be loved. The problem is that they are at the very, very bottom of the pecking order. We have 3 Barred Rocks that won't let them eat, 9 bantams that have to be kept in a separate area because they will run after and peck their bottoms when they see them (this happened the 2 different occasions they saw them) and we also have 12 EE's that like to pick at their heads! Is it because they know that they will not live for very long or is it just because of their docile personality? I plan on keeping the Cornish as long as they can live which I know wont be long but they are my fatty baby girls. I wish I had know when i first got them so that I wouldn't have bonded and made them pets [​IMG] What can I do to keep the others from picking them or starving them to death?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    It's their sweet nature that gets them picked on more than anything.

    I speak for experience, having raised CXs with my layer flock. Four of the girls lived to be nearly nine months old before we lost them.


    Any chance of seperating the remaining ones from the rest of your flock?
     
  3. mywifewasonherenowiamalso

    mywifewasonherenowiamalso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry but there is only one thing you should do, what they are meant for.

    that said, they sound like they are a lot younger than the rest of the flock, so that is probably why.
    can you put them in a cage in the coop, so they can be seen and not pecked for a while?
     
  4. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    The EE's are only a week older, the rocks a year older and the bantams are 3 weeks older. They currently go into a large wood shipping crate instead of the coop at night, but I didn't want to cut off their free ranging of the whole property but it looks like we will have to to keep my chunkers safe from everyone else. That means I get to build the tractor I thought was really cute last summer! Have to look at the positive in things I guess, lol.

    I wish I could bring myself to cull them but me and DD are just way to attached. I have prepared DD and hopefully myself that they won't live very long but we are trying to make things as good as possible for them while they are here.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Wait a sec! How does anyone have the right to tell anyone else how to live their lives, including how they care for their pets? Beyond stopping abuse when one hears or sees of it, we don't IMHO.

    I had 19 CX chicks literally dumped on my front porch. I cared for them, I loved on them, and when they died natural deaths (natural for a commercial grade CX anyhow) I returned them to nature. I did not let them suffer. They had good lives, albeit short ones. They were going to be culled for not growing fast enough in the commercial houses. Instead they had (up to) 8 months of the good life, free-ranging and enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Does this roo and hen look like they were suffering????:

    [​IMG]

    I can promise you they weren't! They were too busy enjoying life, the sunshine, the dustbaths and other parts of farm life (including mating!) to suffer. And when they did die (of heart attacks) it was a quick passing.


    I'm sorry, but no one has the right to tell me or anyone else what we "should" do.
     
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  6. mywifewasonherenowiamalso

    mywifewasonherenowiamalso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry but i stand by my post, they are designed to be eaten.
    but i also had a suggestion for how they can be kept, so i dont know how im telling you what you can and cant do.

    and this is america also so i have the right to tell anybody what i think they should or shouldnt do. and its your right to keep meat chickens til they die.

    i have nothing else to say to the original post exept good luck
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:And that's the best you can do. Don't let anyone fault you for it either. [​IMG] If they weren't at the bottom of the pecking order, there'd be another chicken or chickens there. You'd have the same issue, even if you didn't have CXs.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  8. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Sounds like building the tractor for the chunky chicks will make their life much more enjoyable. But if you can let them out and encourage them to move around more - it would benefit their life span. (I might put the "offenders" in the tractor for a couple hours a day, to let the chunks free range)


    It could be their docile personality getting them pecked or can be their age and the fact that they are not moving "as quick" as the other birds. I have found that the younger birds - under 4 months - sometimes tend to be the meanest of the whole flock.



    Preparing yourself for heartbreak when you love ANYTHING is part of life, at least for me it is. Remember when they do pass, to not feel funny crying or mourning them "just cause they are chickens".


    [​IMG] for you and your DD during the adventure you are going to have.


    I also forgot to add - more feeders and waters - even if you need one per bird. It will help stop food bullying, plus encourage movement as they rotate from one station to the other -- Cause birds know that there is always something better in the other feeder! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:[​IMG] All excellent advice!
     
  10. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    Quote:[​IMG] All excellent advice!

    Thank you both so much for the advice! I was really worried about them this morning but now I am very excited again about having them knowing that there is something I can do for them [​IMG] I will miss my Penelope and Charolette later but for now we are going to make them as happy as we can while they are here
     

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