How do I tell which is the bully?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sylvie, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

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    Jul 15, 2008
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    All hens and someone is really picking about 7 hens feathers. I have 16 total. I've watched and can't tell by the behavior that I've seen. Just "get away from that, it's mine" pecks.
    Two hens are bald on the back with fresh quills pecked daily. I have isolated who I thought were the offenders but now I'm not so sure. How do you tell?
    I guess I'll fence off the coop and pen, putting those with damage on one side and those pristine on the other.
     
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

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    Jun 9, 2009
    I don't know any way to tell other than watching and waiting until you see who is doing it.

    By the way, if it's already at the point where 2 have bald spots on the back, there might be more than one picker by now. Once one starts, others quickly learn. You might want to look at your management situation to understand why they are picking to begin with (boredom? crowding? no access to grass/greens? diet too low in protein?). You can remove the pickers if you can identify them, but I think you are at risk of having it happen again if you don't change the situation.
     
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

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    Oh, and I am assuming you don't have a rooster and that what you are seeing has not been caused by rooster treading.
     
  4. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ohio
    Quote:Yes, as I said- all hens.

    Plenty of coop room, pastured most of the day in a 3 acre field. Fed well, also worms, bugs, feeding back extra eggs. I don't think it is a crowding or protein issue. Anyways I am more interested at his point in learning how to tell who is doing it, without installing a web cam.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  5. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

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    You just have to watch and wait until you catch her/them in the act.

    I think it is very strange for this to be happening within a small flock pastured over 3 acres. Again, I would look for a stressor.
     
  6. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ohio
    Quote:Hmmm- kids next door built a large cabin in the woods 300' away from the coop and party into the night with music. I have a baby monitor on and motion detector lights which may be triggered during the night, the door is locked from dusk to predawn.
    They occasionally put off cherry bomb fireworks over there.
    I work and don't know what goes on during the day, Dh tries to keep an eye on them when in the pasture, but at night we've been relying on the previous mentioned tools.
    This could be why I don't see aggression while I watch.
     

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