How do you stop aggression among your chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cadbury22, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. Cadbury22

    Cadbury22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Easter Egger hen Cadbury is always sweet and sensitive among her flock mates. When to new chickens were introduced to her flock she started to get aggressive and peck them. She chases them around around the chicken yard and corners them. We don't know what to do about her. Our other chicken does not try to peck them like Cadbury does. What should we do about her?
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    CadBury is just territorial,like most chickens.You should have slowly introduced them through wire,you can either separate cadbury,or separate the new ones.

    If you cannot separate them,give them roosting areas that the new ones can get away on,treats,and lots of space can help.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    What you're seeing is typical territorial chicken behavior. A slow introduction with a fence in between may have helped, but it's not a guarantee that it would be drama free. As long as she's not mercilessly pinning them down and causing bloodshed, I'd let them work it out. Separate Cadbury now, and you'll just have to reintroduce later. Make sure you have plenty of room for the new ones to get away, maybe have different roost levels if you can will help. More than one feeding and watering station will help, too.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Cadbury might have been low hen in the pecking order, those birds are often the most aggressive when adding new birds to the flock.

    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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  6. Cadbury22

    Cadbury22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it was because Cadbury was the bottom of the pecking order before. She probably wants to show the new chickens that they're at the bottom now.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    She finally has someone to lord it over....hopefully the newbies figure out how, and have the space, to stay away from her.
    Should even out after awhile.
     

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