Moved to the coop, now biting?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BrewedInNh, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    We have 6 EE's (at least we were told they're EE's) that are about 11 weeks old. We got them when they were 10 days old. They've lived in a brooder in our basement until 5 days ago when we moved them to their new coop. They seemed fine with the move, but 2 days ago one of them (named Trouble) bit my wife on the hand while she refilled their food. Then yesterday morning Trouble bit me 3 times, and her twin bit me once. I responded to each bite with a tap on their head. The other 4 girls are very well mannered, as they've always been.

    I'm wondering if Trouble and her twin (named Poopy) might not be EE's. I know EE's are mixed breed, so maybe the breeds of these 2 include some more aggressive birds. Or, maybe they're not EE's after all.

    You can see in them all in the picture. 3 of them are chipmunk colored, 1 is blue/wheaten, and the 2 white birds are Trouble & Poopy. Their personallities seem to be grouped accordingly as well.

    [​IMG]

    Trouble has always been the most adventurous of the bunch, followed closely by Poopy. They've always been the most demanding of our attention, wanting to be near us, and held. We've hand fed treats to all of them without any issues.

    This morning Trouble tried to bite me again, so I did what I read on this forum. I scooped her up and held her upside down by her legs. It didn't seem to bother her much, she just hung there making quiet sounds. After about 20 seconds I put her down. She immediately got up, puffed up all her feathers and tried to bite me again. I held her upside down again, this time until she squacked. When I put her down Poopy ran to her and pecked her on the head several times.

    15 minutes later my wife went to the coop to say good morning to the girls, and Poopy bit her.

    We'll continue trying to correct their behavior, but I'm wondering anyone knows why they've started getting territorial now. Maybe I'm just crazy for trying to make sense of chicken psychology. [​IMG]
     
  2. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2010
    St.Petersburg
    Can you get some closer pictures?
     
  3. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:Sorry about that. [​IMG] I'll get much better pictures and post them after work tonight.
     
  4. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    The white ones look like they may be Leghorns, but pic isn't that great. You can try removing the main biter from the flock and cage apart for 2 or 3 days. Sometimes that helps to take the bravado out of them.
     
  5. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Why now?

    Well, as great as a new coop is, it is still causing the little ones stress. All those new things and all that new space are scary, particularly if they happened all at once... In my opinion, your little gals are reacting to stress. Maybe if they were kept in a little smaller protected space and more gradually given more room it would help calm them down?
     
  6. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Here are some better pics of the twins who bite.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Those white girls are Leghorns, and the red ones in the pic is one of the popular "Red" breeds, either RIR or Production Red - I'm thinking hatchery RIRs. You typically get those two breeds if you buy chicks from TSC.
     
  8. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are at that age of testing the limits. Do what they will understand. Peck them back (with your hand) so it is obvious you're onto their pecking order game and you are not going to let them get away with it. That's what a couple of my girls did (and one of them has leghorn in her) and what I did back. After a week or so of pecking back harder then they pecked, all was good and I haven't had issues with pecking since. Smarting back and yelling at me, yes, but I that kinda cracks me up.

    There is the possibility of them being cockerels, but I'm not the best person to tell. I had already weeded out all the boys when I tried the pecking back thing, so aggression isn't necessarily a cockerel thing.

    Best of luck! Oh, and if it doesn't work, remind them that they taste good.
     
  9. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:We got them from friends who have a working farm about an hour from here. I'll check with them to find out more on where the chicks came from, and which breeds they ordered. They told us they ordered EE's but I know they also ordered other breeds too including meat birds. When we picked them up it was a riot. Two of us in a horse stall with 50 chicks and 2 hens. We were trying to catch 6 layers without stepping on anyone and the hens freaking out. I never laughed so hard. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the assessment. We're brand new to keeping chickens and loving it so far. [​IMG]
     
  10. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:And here we were thinking the years of adolescent attitude were behind us. [​IMG]

    Seems like the consensus is we have some variety of Leghorns. We're ok with that, they're supposed to be good layers I hear. I really hope they're all hens though, otherwise it's bbq time. We'll keep up the corrective steps to break them of biting.

    Thanks for all the advice.
     

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