Hens plucking each other's feathers and bundling together when they go to sleep. NEED SOME ADVICE!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by scooter8, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. scooter8

    scooter8 Hatching

    Jan 10, 2014
    Just a few days ago, I bought 8 chickens which were all 8-10 weeks old. They were flown in from Vancouver into Victoria, a short flight, where I picked them up. I bought:
    2 gold laced cochins
    1 light brahma
    1 dark brahma
    2 australorps
    1 gold laced wyandotte
    1 Buff orpington

    Today, I purchased locally;
    2 barred rock
    1 Lavender orpington
    1 Splash Marans

    Before I intoduced the 4 new chickens, the original eight were quite aggressive towards each other even though they had been together more than 24 hours and should have figured out the pecking order. I also noticed that at night, they would all try and cramp into one crevisce to try and sleep; a 6" space between the nesting box and the wall to try and sleep. They were stepping on each other and squaking very loudly to try and fight for a position in the corner. Why is this??? I have installed two 8 ft. roosting poles each at 3.5 ft. and 4.5 ft. high I know they are not too high because I have seen them get up there, yet they are not sleeping on the poles, but on top of each other on the ground. Also, after I intoduced the new 4 to the old 8 it seems that they are still as aggressise as before if not more. It's gotten to the point to where they are starting to eat each other's feathers as well as their own. What can I do to stop this. I know that they may be just re-establishing the pecking order, but this is crazy! How do I stop this????
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Well, you've got quite a bit of mass confusion going on there! Those birds that were flown in? They're very stressed from their journey and are bunching up together in that corner mostly for security. Then on top of that you introduced more birds...eeek! You need to isolate those latest additions ASAP. Divide off your coop/run so that each group can see each other but not "get" to each other. Things need to settle down around the coop/run from all the stress which can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks...possibly longer.

    If you have bullying going on within the original 8 just make sure that it doesn't get bloody...that can spell disaster. If there is one certain bird out of the 8 that's the true bully, it needs to be separated from the others.

    Hope this helps some, best of luck in your venture.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014

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