Hens pecking at others - how to stop this

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FuzzandFurFarm, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. FuzzandFurFarm

    FuzzandFurFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Hello,
    We are new to the forum and new to raising chickens and we have a problem that maybe someone can help with

    We have 8 five month old Black Australorp Females & 3 three month old Buff Orpington Females.

    The poor little yellow girls get picked on terribly, especially in the coop. When they're out in their yard during the day the they tend to keep to themselves and stay away from the bigger chickens and the Australorps don't seem bother them much (though they will occasionally chase them from one end of the chicken yard to the other), but when they all go into the coop for the night (they put themselves to bed) the Buffs are huddle in the corner closest to the ramp to get out and hide their faces while the others eat the food. We atched last night for a short while and we noticed that one of the black chickens will come over to them and peck at them, they screech and try to get away and then the bigger ones go back to eating and the Buffs huddle back into the corner. A minute or two later another one comes and does it.

    Why are they doing this and how do I fix it?

    Thanks in advance for your help

    Denyel
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Sadly, more often than not this is how it goes - part of the pecking order. BOs are typically one of the more submissive breeds to begin with, plus they're two months younger, PLUS they're far outnumbered. If they were older...if the numbers were reversed...lots of IFs...then things would probably go smoother. As long as blood is not being drawn, try not to watch too much is all I can advise. Things should work themselves out by the time everyone is laying. I would advise having more than one feeder/waterer available for daytime use, set well apart.
     
  3. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:This is exactly what I've done, and it was helpful. Still though, there is pecking going on. I have a SLW and Light Brahma who really chase and peck my smallest and weakest Brown Leghorn. But as the other poster said, as long as there is no blood, you kind of just have to ignore it as much as possible.
     
  4. FuzzandFurFarm

    FuzzandFurFarm Out Of The Brooder

    16
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    22
    Aug 12, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    No blood, which is good, just scary to see my little ones getting pecked at. I'll try not to watch or worry so much until they all get older (and as long as the no blood continues).

    The Aussie's are 21 weeks old (have not started laying yet, but hopefully soon) and the BO's are 8 weeks younger, not by choice. We got our first 12 chicks back in March and unfortunately 3 of the chicks died within the first few days the hatchery we ordered from replaced those 3 free of charge but it was going to be several months before they had more Aussie's they could send us but offered to send the BO, we agreed but it was still 2 months until we could get them. Hopefully as they all get older they will get along better.

    Thanks for the answers so far, we'll add an extra feeder (they already have a waterer inside and another one outside).

    Denyel
     
  5. GhostRider65

    GhostRider65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,579
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    Mar 6, 2011
    NE Wisconsin
    AWWWWWW poor little chicks,
    I fear I'm gonna have the same problem, my first order March 25th was all screwed up sent white rocks instead of barred, and lost 4 of my SS in transit, so they had to fix it which also took them 2 months so now I have a pen of 9 week olds and a pen of adult pullets and 2 roosters 20 weeks, six new pullets to add soon, because the roosters are mean to them, so very soon I will have to add them in with the big girls, and I've been so worried about it. Not sure when AND how to add them in, they are in adjacent pens have been for over a month. But I think I'm gonna have this same issue. my 6 to add are 2 Delawares, 1 Barred rock, and 3 Speckled Sussex, The last being the smallest pullets. Then I have to butcher all these dadd blasted roosters they sent me, so between the 2 orders I had 43 chicks and 34 roosters, TG I bought a couple pullets from TSC or I wouldn't hardly have any, as it is I have 16 hens and alot !!! of roosters !!!! ggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr did you order from PP or cackle by chance? that's where my order came from.
     
  6. FuzzandFurFarm

    FuzzandFurFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Aug 12, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    We ordered from "Chickens For Backyards"....they were nice to deal and good price with but looking back at our order records we actually ordered 15 Australorps (which we now have 8 surviving)! Is this a normal survival rate for 2 day old chicks? It seemed high to us, but we did have 3 eaten, so maybe it's not that bad.

    3 died within the first few days, 3 "disappeared" at a few weeks old when they were in the brooder in our workshop down by the alpaca barn (we think something got in and found a smorgasbord [​IMG] ) and 1 died kind of suddenly a few weeks after being moved out to the coop, since then no problems (they are beautiful girls...can't wait to upload pis of them). We got the three Buff Orpington girls as replacements for the first 3 that died, we were told they were a similar breed to the Australorps (and when deciding on which breed to get, I couldn't decide between the two so was happy to have a few BO added to our little flock). Hopefully they will all figure out their "pecking" order without anybody getting really hurt. ANd hopefully the older ones will begin laying soon!

    We have a Rouen duck who was laying regularly and then we let her sit and hatch a brood and she hasn't started laying again yet, so we've actually had to buy eggs at the store for the past month....ahhh the horror...we got SO spoiled with farm fresh duck eggs at our disposal. We can't wait for fresh eggs again from our duck & our chickens!

    Denyel
     
  7. FuzzandFurFarm

    FuzzandFurFarm Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Aug 12, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Just an update....we have noticed a lot less pecking of the younger ones since adding and extra food dish and even noticed that the younger BO's are roositng on the roosting bar at night while the older bigger Black Aussie's are sleeping on the floor of the coop, this seems to be good for both sets of girls! And we've had 3 eggs laid in the past week! So all seems to be improving! [​IMG]

    Denyel
     

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