Need help. Pecking order.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mordarlar, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. mordarlar

    mordarlar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2010
    I have an older (red sex link?) hen that i got from a couple near where i live. She was already laying when i got her and the conditions she lived in were not ideal. There were too many birds living in a dark and dank barn. This was our first time ever holding a chicken let alone spotting health issues so we ended up buying her and another hen. The other hen was ill and after a time of trying to help her we ended up culling her.

    A few months later we bought a few 5 week old buff orpington chicks. When they were older and after we introduced them there were a few tense days but overall everyone worked it out. The Buffs hang in a little clique and Clucker is avoided whenever possible. She is very pleasant to humans and is easy to manage but to the other birds she is just MEAN.

    The problem is that we are having trouble making sure everyone eats. The older hen is brutal about the food. She will gorge herself and still spend most of the day chasing the other birds away from the food. We have tried having food in several areas and she'll just run from one area to another chasing hungry hens away. I know the others are eating when she is laying and that they also grab the occasional bite before she runs over but i am worried.

    Is this normal behavior? Does anyone have any suggestions about ways to improve the issue? I'd be grateful for any input.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  2. FlashPointFarm

    FlashPointFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know a guy that had an issue with feather picking. He put peepers on the birds that had all of their feathers. It stopped. She'll be able to see from the side, but won't be able to see directly in front of her, so the attacks should lessen.
     
  3. mordarlar

    mordarlar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never heard of peepers. I'll look into that. Thanks for the reply. [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If the chicks are still much smaller than her, you can buy or make something called a creeper feeder. Basically a box, over a feeder, with an entrance small enough for the little ones to get into to eat, but too small for her to enter.
    Good luck to you.
     
  5. mordarlar

    mordarlar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No, she is the smallest one in the yard now. Runs it with an iron fist though...lol
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:No, she is the smallest one in the yard now. Runs it with an iron fist though...lol

    If you have the space and the facilities, you could attempt to change her title as head hen by seperating her for awhile, a few days to a week. When you put her back out in the chicken yard, she will be at the bottom of the totem pole and have to take orders from someone else.
     
  7. mordarlar

    mordarlar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2010
    Quote:No, she is the smallest one in the yard now. Runs it with an iron fist though...lol

    If you have the space and the facilities, you could attempt to change her title as head hen by seperating her for awhile, a few days to a week. When you put her back out in the chicken yard, she will be at the bottom of the totem pole and have to take orders from someone else.

    Thank you. We may try that. I was conscious of introducing the orps when they were slightly smaller than her because it was three to one. I didn't realize at the time how the power would go to her head. I think a re-introduction between her mean self and the calmer and overall peaceful orps might work.

    Thank you so much!!
     

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