Low pullet in the flocked getting picked on

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LoreenH, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. LoreenH

    LoreenH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Oregon
    I got all six of my girls at the same time from My Pet Chicken, they were all 2 days old when I got them. They all got along fine until recently....they are now 23 weeks. I knew they would start forming a pecking order eventually. Poor Victoria, the Silver-laced Wyandotte is getting picked on by everyone. They're not pulling out feathers but they grab her by her comb or wattles. Like yesterday, she squatted, I started scritching her tail and neck and Rosie came over and tried to grab her (Rosie has done this with others too). I pushed her away with one hand and kept scritching Victoria; I had to push Rosie away several times. Other times, like when they are eating, one of the others will peck or grab her. They have the run of the backyard during the day so it's not a lack of space issue. When I give them treats I make sure it's spread out so they can all get a share, though some still won't let Victoria have much. Any suggestions as to what I can do?

    My other Silver-laced Wyandotte, Lucy, has risen to the top of the pecking order, though I haven't seen her mess with one of my Speckled Sussex....I think it's because Miss Piggy is larger than she is.
     
  2. 10 point

    10 point country boy

    Feb 19, 2011
    LaFayette, NY
    I think you have to let it play out and if it docent settle down you will have to put the worst perpetrators in time out. then bring them back in after a week and they will be the lowest on todom pole.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    As long as blood isn't being drawn, I'd let it go, although I know that's easier said than done, especially with small pet-like flocks. Even in a small flock like yours, I'd make sure you have more than one feeder/waterer available. That helps insure than the lowest birds have ample opportunities to eat/drink.

    One thing that helped me, not among my original flock, but when I was integrating two pullets with them, was sitting out there with a squirt bottle, and squirting meanies when they'd go out of their way to harrass the newbies. I would just squirt them from my seat - that way (I hoped) they thought the pullet was doing it - standing up for herself, rather than the dom. bird (ME) running interference.

    Good luck! Hope things ease up for your low gal. [​IMG]
     
  4. LoreenH

    LoreenH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Oregon
    I'll just try to wait it out....it just started happening in the last week or so.

    Unfortunately, at this time, I have nowhere to put anyone for a time out. I guess I'll have the hubby build something.

    I'll try it again with the squirt bottle. I think this time I'll aim for their heads, I tried squirting them elsewhere with no results. Thanks.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Oh yeah - the faces usually works...lol. I think it's a hormonal thing, because my silkie that hasn't been laying yet (my only bird to not be laying yet) must be getting close, because she's squatting a lot. I've noticed that both my other silkie and my little d'uccle (all the same ages - but those two HAVE been laying) have being pretty mean to her over the past two weeks or so. So maybe it's something to do with insuring pecking order status as she comes into maturity??? It sounds similar to what you've described, which is why I bet it'll calm down once everyone is laying. [​IMG]
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    This is pretty much normal chicken behavior. The dominant pick on the less dominant to reinforce their position in the flock. It is not pretty, but it is how chickens operate. [​IMG]
     

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