In the Brooder
- Jun 3, 2019
Hello- I’ve had backyard chickens going on about 8 years now. I’ve got 3 different ages of hens (no roosters) in my flock but the last integration I did was about 2 or 3 years ago so nothing has really changed with my girls. There are 7 total and they have a large enclosure and 5 nesting boxes plus they get to free range most every day. Recently I had an australorpe go into molt and one day I noticed that the back of her head was completely bald. Then I noticed that one of my Easter Eggers was repeatedly pinning her to the ground and pecking her head. I separated the injured australorpe into another coop and treated her head injury figuring that it was just the molt that caused the aggression toward her. She’s almost healed and now (still being targeted so she’s still got her own condo) but then I came home to find another chicken (white leghorn) with a bloody head and I noticed the same behavior of pinning her to the ground. I thought I just had one bully chicken and tried separating that one then realized that my other Easter egger (sister to the first) was doing the same thing. I tried separating out both Easter eggers into the same enclosure and then they started going at each other (I know what pecking order fighting is this is absolute aggression one grabbed the back of the others head and started shaking her head like a dog which I have never seen). Has anyone else ever experienced this with a flock that has been integrated for years? Any advice as to if these two can be reintegrated with their original flock ever again?? I’ve tried showing dominance and spraying them when I see aggression it makes no difference. My concern is really that they’re drawing blood and seem to be focused on actually killing rather than showing dominance.