How do I stop the bullying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Attila, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Attila

    Attila Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2012
    Douglas, MA
    I have ten chickens, 3 Buffs, 3 Barred Rocks, 3 Silkies and 1 Polish.
    My problem is one of the Silkies keeps getting bullied and pecked at to the point where the back of her neck is bloody.
    I have removed her from general population and brought her into the house to heal up so she is out of harms way.
    This is the second or third time this has happened. What can I do or change to stop this behavior?
    Thank You.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Big chickens pick on little or submissive chickens. Sadly enough chicken society is cruel. Possibilities include separating her and the other silkies from the larger flock, putting Pinnless Peepers on the most aggressive birds, or finding a new home for the picked upon hen.
     
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2012
    I have a rooster that won't let any of the chickens fight. He is useless for watching the hens, but in the coop there is no fighting at all. So we'll keep him...Lol.

    We had 4 really large adult birds, and then we added a slightly larger than bantam sized mama hen and her 8 week old chicks, and nobody got picked on at all. They still don't. I mean some hens have a better spot in the scheme of things when they are all diving for treats, but there is no fighting at all. So, try to find an older rooster that is against ruckus maybe? I even have 3 adult roosters and still no fighting because 2 are tiny and the other is our big old guy...Lol.
    I think with hens it is more the attitude than it is the size...but with roosters I think size does still matter.

    How big is your coop? because a smaller coop will have a lot more fighting...so far we've had no bullying or pecking at all other than one swift peck to the back of the head, as if to say it's my turn at the water, or Hey! that's my piece of corn...

    My big roo did attack my silkie roo, but only after the silkie roo attacked me...but I dont' think that counts. I have heard that barred rocks are often the perpetrators of vicious picking...so you might want to watch them. Or think of giving them their own barred rock pen perhaps.

    I do not have first hand experience with barred rocks, but I read on here a lot and when there is chicken on chicken crime there seems to be a barred rock doing the criming...Lol.
     
  4. Attila

    Attila Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2012
    Douglas, MA
    My coop is 4 by 8, with 3 nesting boxes.
    Their run is 28 feet by 16 feet. Plenty of room.
    I do think the barred rocks are the most aggressive towards the others.
     
  5. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4x8 is 32 sq ft right? And for each bird to have 4 sq feet you would need 8 ft more room...So...something to think about. I think the 4sq ft is a little generous, but it really does keep the chickens from fighting very much at all. And the more outside room they have, the less inside room they need, but of course in winter the chickens will spend more time in the coop and less outside in the run...So you really might want to think about making a small coop for the barred rocks, but not too small of course. It sounds like you might be 2 chickens over your space...
    I have an 18x20 ft building, with only the 10 chickens. I am planning on getting quite a few more, but there will be no more than 30 or 40 in there I am planning on adding 24 chickens to the coop, so that will bring my count to 34 and they get to free range everyday if they want. They stay in the coop if it rains or snows or anything inclement at all really.

    So give it some pondering. Some smaller nicer chickens can be kept in smaller spaces, but I feel that barred rocks with their propensity for violence need extra space when at all possible.

    You can try making sure the chickens have a lot to do in the coop...toss in some leaves, or straw, grass clippings, a flock block, some suet...something to keep them entertained in something other than a rousing game of peck the chickens.
     

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