Mean hen is getting pecked

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DeepDishChix, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,
    So I have one hen that used to be super mean and bold. She used to peck all the others, but I noticed that she has big bare patches on the sides next to her tail. I have a small coop, which I call Hen Hospital. I have 2 in there that were getting picked on, they were the smallest ones. I'm giving one of them away so I'll have an open space. I need to move the mean one in, but i'm afraid it will peck the other one, she's super sweet, and probably at the bottom of the pecking. Help pls
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you sure it isn't feather eating? Pecking for dominance is usually on the head, not pulling feathers around the tail.
    3 most common reasons for feather picking are low protein, crowded conditions and boredom.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  3. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a coop that should only have like 6 in it but there's 9 in it. We are going to make it bigger next week. They are eating the feathers, and the mean one has gotten really skittish, she used to be at the top, and she used to peck everybody.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I misspelled a word in my first post. I meant to say pecking on the head and I wrote hen. [​IMG]

    Anyway, back to your problem. You may have found at least 2 of the 3 most common causes.
    What are you feeding them? i.e. what is the protein percentage of their primary feed, what else are you feeding and what % of the total intake do extras make up?
     
  5. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I give them scratch i think its 8% protein. They have layer crimbles too. They get a lot of scraps also. I think they are bored or too small space.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Also too little protein. Cut out all the scratch and scraps unless the scraps are meat or fish till this is resolved.
    In the meantime give them a protein boost like some canned fish every couple days. I use mackerel because it is the cheapest per ounce.

    Layer feed is 16% protein. That is the minimum they can get by on. The feeding instructions on the label says that it is a complete feed and no other supplements needed.
    When you add 8% scratch, you could be cutting the total protein intake to 12% which will cause feather eating and even cannibalism.

    Chickens eat to satisfy their energy needs. Scratch being high in energy, they will eat that before their complete nutrition feed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  7. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ive seen the others pecking her when she tries to eat with them. Whenever i throw scratch or food i do it in a few different spots so that every one gets some. Will it be okay to move her in with the nice chicken? She doesn't eat a lot of scraps so that would be perfect. Im just concerned the nice one will get attacked by the mean one.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can try. I can't tell you what a bird I've never seen will do when introduced to another bird.

    What I can tell you is that you're missing the point. You're feeding too much scratch and insufficient protein.

    I hope your chickens have a constant supply of chicken feed in an appropriate container.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  9. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I am going to the store today to buy them more feed.
     
  10. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Back from thr store. I bought more layer feed and some BOSS. How much BOSS should i feed them. We have 9 chickens btw. Before i was mixing scratch and layer feed.
     

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