How to feed the chicken at the bottom

Heidi Smith

Hatching
Jun 30, 2020
5
0
9
Do you ration food or free feed?

I don't have experience with bully chickens preventing others from eating, but it stands to reason that a chicken can't guard the feeder every possible moment if it's always full and, even moreso, if there are other things to do in the run than stand next to the feeder.

Also, what kind of feeder are you using?

Is there room for all the chickens to eat at the same time?

It stands to reason that scarce resources -- rationed food or limited space to access food -- would tend to trigger food guarding while abundant food/access to food would not be protected so jealously.
I free feed in a round feeder that you fill in the middle. I also scatter all over the coop so they can scratch and I feed them kale, and other garden veggies I also scatter treats like flax seed and other seeds they get all of these things daily. There is no shortage on food. I am more worried I am over feeding!
 

Heidi Smith

Hatching
Jun 30, 2020
5
0
9
Are they all laying eggs now? Flock dynamics tend to change as the pullets go through chicken puberty and start laying eggs. If they aren't all lying eggs yet I would give it time, and see how it goes once they are all laying. If they've all been laying for at least a few weeks, you could try pulling the bully Shanane out for a few days. When you put her back she'll be the odd one out now and it may help temper her dominant personality.
4 are laying eggs. Shanane and Misty are both layers and oddly share the same nesting box. However, Shanane doesn’t stay with her egg and leaves it for Misty to sit on! They are definitely going through puberty. I will watch it and take Shanane out if she doesn’t calm down. Fortunately she does not seem to be injuring Misty. Just bossing her around and pecking.
 

Croco Rico

In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2020
9
21
11
It has been going on for a few weeks. The silkies are 7 months old and I have 5. I will try to increase hiding spots I have also tried a wide scatter of food on the ground to make it hard to watch over it all but Shanane kind of stalks Misty wherever she goes.

I have the same problem. My 2 silkies (3 months old) are bullied by the 5 others. They cannot eat in peace, and are even forbidden to go inside the coop by themselves. I have to wait until the big girls are asleep and then put the babies inside... I will definitely try to clutter, even if my hubby will resist... :) But what to do long term with that sleeping situation?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
92,103
117,528
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
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I free feed in a round feeder that you fill in the middle. I also scatter all over the coop so they can scratch and I feed them kale, and other garden veggies I also scatter treats like flax seed and other seeds they get all of these things daily. There is no shortage on food. I am more worried I am over feeding!
Yes, too many treats.
What is their main feed, brand/model/protein and calcium percentages?
Another feeder might be a good idea.
 

rayrose

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
203
224
101
Columbia, SC
My Coop
My Coop
I also presently have this same problem. Hen A harasses hen B to the point where she won't let B eat at all and constantly chases her and bites her. Today, I decided to put A in a crate, in view of the other hens, 12 in all.
Hen B's attitude has already changed drastically in just one day. She eats in peace and acts more relaxed and not fearful for her life. I plan on keeping A in the crate for at least a week to give B a chance to recover, and A to change her mean attitude. I didn't want to do this, but I truly believe that if I had not done this, A would have eventually killed B.
You might want to consider doing the same thing.
 

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