Hens pecking each other - space question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jaybanana, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. jaybanana

    jaybanana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought some new hens the other day, 1 glw, 1 leghorn x araucana, and 5 isa browns. The glw and the isa browns are very feisty, and all the hens bar the leghorn x have bald sections. The place they were in before was a lot smaller than my run, so I was hoping it was a lack of space issue that could be resolved over time. I currently have 5 chickens in my run, and the new 7 in a separate quarantine pen. So once quarantine is over, they will be moved into the main chicken run.

    This is a photo of my run. At the moment I have one nesting box (quite long, has multiple entrances) and a large dog kennel for sleeping in. I know I need to get some extra housing up before I move the new ones in (and have one underway), but I just wanted to know if it was actually enough room for all 12 hens, or whether I should increase the size of the run? I originally thought it was okay, but don't want to give them any excuses to continue pecking each other! I know the photo isn't that good quality, my apologies! But hopefully, with the chicken and pekin duck in the pen, it gives a bit of perspective.

    [​IMG]

    From the side to give an idea of width. I would guess its about 2.5-3 mtrs wide?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jaybanana

    jaybanana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some more photos from the building stage, just to see size


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Which hens are pecking each other? The old ones or the new ones?

    The run appears adequate for the number of hens, but you need to be aware that your new hens are undergoing stress being moved to a new location. This can incite pecking.

    If the new hens are the ones pecking each other, and you've left them in the pen while you were constructing it, then they are undergoing stress, too. Any disruption from routine will stress hens.

    Then, when you introduce the new hens to the established flock, you will get more stress and pecking.

    To minimize stress, make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water, and nourishing feed with plenty of protein in it. After a month or so in the new pen, after they've established the new pecking order, things should calm down.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Gosh I love seeing photos of chicken runs from Australia. From those of us in the States with TONS of predators, my first reaction is [​IMG], but then I remember you don't have predators. [​IMG]


    First off, it's normal for some pecking when you relocate them, they are trying to reestablish their order and are in the habit of pecking each other. If you can get some stuff like No Pick or BluKote, it will help with picking. (it tastes bad, so they don't pick)

    As for space, how long is it? It looks easily 3 times the width. If it is, then you'll be pushing it for space - you might want to enlarge it a bit. Or you can just let them out on the grass during the day.
     
  5. jaybanana

    jaybanana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I wasn't very clear! The photos are of my original pen, the new chooks are currently in a makeshift pen about half this size, but will eventually be added into the pen in the photos. The new chooks are the ones doing the pecking, but it's something their previous owner had problems with. I was hoping that, given some more space, the pecking would slow down, and just wanted to check that this pen will be okay.
     
  6. jaybanana

    jaybanana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it makes for building runs a lot easier!!

    Im not sure of length, but I would say about 3 times the width is right. If I had a measuring tape I would measure it! I could extend it a bit, space isnt the problem, it's the cost of buying chicken wire!! And I can let them on the grass when we are there, but the yard isn't secure, and there is a dog next door, so I can't leave them out.
     

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