Need help with new brutal pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by esterester, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. esterester

    esterester Hatching

    Sep 14, 2011
    A week ago, something happened that toppled my head chick, Ester, to bottom and brutalized bottom chick. The usurpers are two Australorps, 6 mos old, that I raised from babies. I introduced them into the flock at 3 months (which was Ester, Butters (a Buff Orpington who has since died) and everything was to be expected (Ester, lead girl, Butters, enforcer) but suddenly the two new girls were on top of Ester, and the order had changed, with the new enforcer charging Ester whenever she saw her. I gave the one Australorp away and while the situation is not quite as horrible, Ester is still sporting new gashes on her comb, ears and some pecks very close to her eyes. I am beside myself. Ester appeared out of the blue four years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, so she is my heart. Do I just get rid of the last Australorp, Vivienne, or will this sort itself out? And are pecking orders typically challenged like this, or is there something else afoot? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas

    Before I rehomed the now top hen I would give a trial of what we BYCers call Chickie Jail. Let Vivienne spend a few days in isolation without any interaction with the flock. This generally works to knock a bossy hen down a few pegs on the pecking order ladder. When they are re-introduced they sing a different tune.

    Good luck to you. [​IMG]
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Sounds like maybe the Buff Orp was her buddy, and now without her, she's vulnerable. How long has this been going on? It's just the 2 chickens now?

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