Is this normal and should I be worrried?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by angelam, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. angelam

    angelam Hatching

    Apr 21, 2012
    Here's the background... this is my first experience with chickens and they were well started when I got them and just starting to get their feathers in. they came from the same brooding box, got along well and so forth. When they got big enough, I put them in the coop which is large enough to support 12+ hens (I have 6). Just recently, my one hens started attacking one of the other hens for whatever purpose. I dont see any damage so far to either chicken but I dont know why this is happening. They have plenty of feed, water and so forth... so why is this happening all of a sudden? They are americana x and it seems that its only 2 of the hens that are showing aggressive tendendices. They were supposed to be sexed so should be all hens.

    What can I do about this? should I be worried about it or is it just the hens figuring out the "pecking order". Any advice would be good here.... Thank you for any assistance you can provide. I can get video of them doing this if it would help.

  2. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    Sounds normal to me. This is the pecking order at work.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Chickens all have personality. And some chickens just don't like another chicken for what ever reason. My top hen is brutal with one of the other girls, but not as badly with the others. And the one she is brutal with is not the lowest bird in the order either. So you will never figure out their minds.

    But there are a few things you can do. First off, chickens need a lot of room to be chickens. Do you have a run for them? They need to entertain themselves and not be cooped up in small spaces. My run is big enough to hold 100 chickens and still my tiny group of birds bite at each other occasionally.

    So get them outside and offer them something to do. I like to spread Bermuda Grass Hay around. They love to eat the stuff and goes down easier than grass, doesn't clog crops. Also, alfalfa hay. My girls can't free range, so all the leaves and seeds in the hay act like forage for them. They can scratch for hours looking for seeds in the hay.

    Make sure to put out multiple food and water stations. Even if you have 4 chickens, put out 2 waterers, 2 feeding areas. The head hauncho's of the group are going to bully up the lower birds and they may not get anything to eat. And yes, low ranking birds can become thin and dehydrated.

    Hang up a ball of lettuce or one of those seed cakes. Something to peck at and keep their beaks busy.

    If all else fails, you can use "pinless peepers" on the aggressor. I have used them on my top hen as she has drawn blood for me and the others and the peepers will over time adjust their behavior somewhat.

    Good luck!
  4. angelam

    angelam Hatching

    Apr 21, 2012
    Thanks for the info... on these suggestions, I opened up the outdoor run, but so far they are not using it. I hadnt opened it up before now because it was still pretty cold up here in my area and the chicks still have some downy feathers on them. Didnt want them to get outside and get too cold. They do have plenty of space so I guess they will just figure it out. I will get some things for them to peck at though in the hopes they will stay entertained....

    Thanks for the responses

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