New chicken owner problems with bullies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by laura0399, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. laura0399

    laura0399 New Egg

    Mar 4, 2017
    Northern California
    We recently brought home 3 Amerucana hens Rosie ginger and Mona. Ginger and Moana pick on Rosie. The lady who had them before claims they were all hatched together and were all friends at her house. We keep them in a coop majority of the day and then let them free range on an acre for about 5 hours everyday. Rosie get special treats and we have multiple water stations. Feed and water available 24/7. They have a dust bath area in the coop and all sleep next to each other. I watched the 2 girls pecking Rosie's feet tonight and lots of feathers on the floor of the coop. The coop is approximately 6"x3" she's still laying daily but I think it's getting worse. Any suggestions would be great. TIA
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    First.... [​IMG]
    Now your coop is very tiny. About the size of my phone. [​IMG][​IMG] I know you meant 3 feet by 6 feet,
    If the chickens are picking on the feet, then maybe they are picking off mites..[​IMG] Usually when there is pecking order ordeals, the picking or pecking is to the upper body area and head. I suggest you take some butter or margarine, or Crisco, and apply to the feet and legs. Vaseline would also work, but I prefer something eatable rather than petroleum. This would in effect suffocate the mites that are possibly under the leg scales. I do this with my hens when I see them picking on their own legs.
    1 person likes this.
  3. JackAubrey

    JackAubrey Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2010
    Mix a little diatomaceous earth into their dust bathing area. It keep fleas and mites off my girls. I also mix it into their feed to prevent internal parasites , and it's natural. Best regards, JA
    1 person likes this.
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So you actually know you have fleas and mites and DE got rid of them? Or you assume it works because you don't have them? I don't have fleas, mites, or worms and don't use DE.

    Also DE is a very porous and week rock that crumbles upon contact. It is meant to work by scratching the surface off of parasite or bugs essentially dehydrating them to death. After it goes through the gizzard where it is ground by other harder rocks do you really believe it can be effective at getting rid of internal parasite but not cause damage to the inside of your hen (even though the body is an amazing thing and does repair itself). I'm gonna say that that is a myth perpetuated with proof it doesn't work! Yes I was on another thread where the person used it all the time and either had a very ill chicken or dead one diagnosed with worms... can look for the thread if you like. Also, some feeds such as Purina Fl[​IMG]ock Raiser, contain DE already as an added ingredient. If it worked to keep internal parasites at bay, they would be marketing it like crazy!

    Also DE is harmful to breath for the chicken as well as the human. After they are done bathing they shake out many times through out the day creating a big dust cloud. Thanks for the offer but I will leave the DE out of the air that might make it to me.

    I realize everyone has to do what makes sense to them and I mean no judgement or ugliness! We are a community here to support each other and I am just sharing my take. [​IMG]
    Hi, I am Nor Cal too... way up here! Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    How long have the girls been at your place now? Do you provide artificial light? What do you feed and what is meant by special treats? Any regular supplements or treats otherwise? What is their age? How much roost space inside your coop? Do they have an attached run or just the coop area to hang out in? What is meant by lot's of feathers? And was she complaining as they pecked at her or did it seem a grooming activity?

    @cavemanrich Love the edible suggestion! [​IMG]
  5. laura0399

    laura0399 New Egg

    Mar 4, 2017
    Northern California
    @EggSighted4Life we've had the girls for about 3 weeks. They don't have a run just the coop. They sleep on perch and there are 3 perches they all sleep together on the same one. I would say about 10 feathers on the floor. I've never seen any on the floor of the coop before. The feed is a layered pellet. I threw the bag away. It was recommended by the feed store. We give them apples/lettuce/bread as treats. She never complains while being pecked. She bows to the ground. They go for her head when they peck her. I'll put vasaline on their legs tomorrow and getting a run is probably a good idea for them too.
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Getting a run is definitely a good idea. They don't have a lot of space to scratch and peck and do chicken things in a 6'x3' coop. Bored, crowded chickens often do develop behavioral problems.
    1 person likes this.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I agree, they're too crowded. Were I cooped up with two others in that small of an area, I'd likely peck at someone also [​IMG]

    Also, the hen being pecked on has no where to go to get away from the others. You say she just puts her head down and takes it.....normally, she'd run away to show the others she's not challenging them, that she's accepting them as boss. But in this case, she has nowhere to go.

    they really need a run that's accessible all day. Or free range them all day, your choice depending on your predator risk.
    1 person likes this.
  8. AshlyMommaWard

    AshlyMommaWard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to byc, I can see this has been a tough start but you'll really enjoy having these birds once you get the kinks worked out of your system. I'm sure you've read the recommended space requirements, but if you haven't.. 4sq ft of space per bird in coop, and 10sq ft of space per bird in run.
    Your 3X6 measures up to 6 per bird, but anything on the floor of your coop subtracts from that, a feeder and watered up to 1 sq ft a piece you've lost, nest box subtracts based on size if it's on the floor. You get the drift. Ideally, for happy birds you'll have an attached, fully enclosed run. For three birds you'd like to have 30sq ft of run, if you ever want to ad to your flock (you'd need to expand your coop too) go ahead and make it bigger. Based off of where you live and possible predators, a run can be fairly simple, cheap and easy.. or the opposite. I'd be glad to help more if you have any other questions.
    Best wishes.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Also with the run space, it also helps if you can put in something for them to do, whether it's simply a few branches to hop up on or a pile of leaves for them to dig through. Like today I put in a small raised garden bed just for the chickens to play with and half filled it with peat moss, and they've been rolling around in it for hours. It's natural behavior for them and lets them focus their energy on something other than picking on the bird on the bottom rung.
  10. laura0399

    laura0399 New Egg

    Mar 4, 2017
    Northern California

    I'm going to let them free range longer during the day. We have an acre and they get to explore the whole
    Lot. We are expanding an old coop and may even let the girls hatch eggs but I'm not ready for that quite yet.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017

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