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More dominant chicken suddenly getting picked on?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by reckless, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so this was the rough order of the pecking order before now, from top hen to bottom hen:

    Lotus (Easter Egger)
    Laurel (Australorp)
    Mallow (Golden Comet)
    Nettle or Olive (Golden Comets)
    Teasel (Golden Comet)
    Berzillia (Barred Rock)​

    Now Mallow is getting picked on all of a sudden- mostly by Teasel! She's coming up to me but then the others chase her away (like I said, mainly Teasel) and she tries her best to get away- this used to be Berzillia, always running from Lotus, but now it's all... weird. Poor Mallow has her tail up and she seems so distressed and keeps standing in the nesting box like it'll protect her, when instead, it corners her. (They don't have a coop yet, my dad is in the progress of building it- finally. It should be done soon... But they do have a pen they go in every day.)

    What could have caused this? Will Teasel stop picking on her? Why IS she picking on her? Do you think something could have happened last night? Or is Teasel just pushing her way to the top and knocking Mallow down a peg?

    If it helps any, Olive and Nettle are laying eggs. Mallow should start laying soon. Laurel will after, then Teasel, Berzillia, then Lotus (going after comb and waddle color/size).

    There's no blood, feather picking, or anything like that thankfully (knocks on wood). But I don't really get why Mallow suddenly got pushed down on the pecking order- I don't know if she's just beneath Teasel now, or Berzillia too. This is so stressful! She's even kind of nervous to eat scratch with the rest of the flock. :( Poor baby...

    From left to right: Nettle, Teasel, Mallow, Olive.
    [​IMG]
    In the background, from left to right, is Berzillia, Lotus, and Laurel.
    Is this something they'll all handle themselves? Should I be concerned? Teasel is generally so sweet and curious :/
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The pecking order is an ever changing thing. Those on top want to retain that position and given the opportunity those on the bottom wish to increase their position. Teasel is trying to improve her position. Generally in an established flock they work these things out without serious injury.
     
  3. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    michigan
    My Coop
    Oh, okay! Thank you for answering!

    These are my first chickens so I didn't think that the pecking order would change at this point- they were all getting along pretty well. I could definitely see why Teasel would want to improve her position- she was pretty low. It's a bit surprising that Mallow was knocked down so suddenly (literally, the pecking order was the same and fine yesterday).

    Thank you again! I'll be keeping an eye on them just in case! So far, Mallow just seems distressed that she's not on top anymore.
     
  4. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's getting really bad- Teasel is being very aggressive. I've separated her and I am going to keep her separated for a while so she can be the bottom of the pecking order when she goes back.

    She's got one foot in front of the knife though. I will not deal with this type of aggression. This isn't even about the pecking order anymore, she's being flat out mean!

    I'm starting to think what everyone says about red sex links is right... I wish I had known beforehand. I would have never gotten them. We would have stuck to the Australorps, Easter Eggers, and Barred Rocks.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  5. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've ordered some pinless peepers- 6 of them for $3.70! Yay! Teasel will be getting those if her behavior continues. They should arrive on Monday. I keep hearing about all of these aggressive Red Sex Links stories so thankfully I'll have enough for all four of mine if worst comes to worst. She's back with the flock for the night.
     
  6. viktoriacl

    viktoriacl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is a pinless peeper?
     
  7. reckless

    reckless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    They're like sunglasses for chickens ;) LOL.

    Okay, no, they go on the chicken's face to stop feather picking, bullying, and egg eating. What they can't seem they can't peck.. right?
    (Though in most, if not all cases, they do eat, drink, and even catch bugs just fine.)
    Anyway, it's a great fix from what I hear, and generally they can be taken off after a month or so.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't want to have to use these, but I figured I'd give it a try.
     

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