How does decreasing flock size affect the chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HennaRose, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At the moment I have eight chickens - three girls almost a year old, and five girls almost six months old. At the moment, the pecking order goes as follows: RIR, Australorp, Easter Egger, Leghorn, Fayoumis, Buttercups. I can't easily tell which Fayoumi and which Buttercup are in which position, but the poor Buttercups get chased around the most by pretty much everybody but each other.

    In a few more weeks after all five of the young ones are laying, I'm planning to sell two of the young ones. (I bought more chicks than I needed in case any died; I knew when I got them that I would have to sell a couple if they all lived.) I really would prefer to keep them all, but I'm already over my chicken quota and I could get fined pretty heavily and possibly even lose my whole flock if code enforcement comes knocking and finds I have too many!

    My plan is to sell one Fayoumi and one Buttercup, and I'm wondering what the effect will be on the birds of suddenly losing two of the lower-ranking girls.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Any change *can* create stress in the flock which can cause a reshuffling of the pecking order, interruption of production, etc. That being said, I don't generally see much of that when removing birds, especially when it's just a couple of birds, it is more of an issue when adding birds. In any case, the impact - if there is any - is temporary.
     
  3. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Florida
    I got rid of a rooster about a month ago and noticed no issues, but nobody really liked him. Everyone kinda went out of their way to avoid him because he was beginning to try to get amorous. The younger girls - all his age - weren't ready for his attention, and the big girls wouldn't have it. There seemed to be no reshuffling of the pecking order (probably because he wasn't at the top - he was exactly in the middle, below all three big girls and the pushy, bossy Leghorn his age, and above the rest) and no change in production when he left. At that time, two of the big girls were laying, one was taking a break, and none of the littles had started yet.

    But I have noticed that the Buttercups will hang out together, and the Fayoumis will hang out together, and the other four will wander more or less alone except when there's food. I guess I'm partly concerned that the one remaining bird from each "pair" will be affected the worst. I'm going to do my best to make sure they go together, when they go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016

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