New to keeping chickens - a couple of questions please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amandajane, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. amandajane

    amandajane Hatching

    Apr 28, 2011
    Hi, a couple of questions from a new owner, I have had 3 hybrid hens now for a week and the first 2 days they were fine but for the last 4 days they have been pecking each other, not enough to hurt each other but enough to pull out a few feathers. They are in a covered run during the day which is 6 ft x 6ft. I've heard that this might be because they are bored but they have loads to play with, logs, tree stumps, hanging cabbage etc, so I don't think this is the reason. Any suggestions would be great.
    Also, they have one wing clipped and I would like to let them out in the garden supervised by myself and my husband as do not want them to be confined to the run all the time. We have a 3ft fence between us and our neighbours and I am worried they could get over this and eat my neighbours vegetable. But even if they can get over, do you think they would try? My husband thinks they would just peck around on the lawn and wouldn't go far. Also we have a pond, do I need to fence it off or would the hens ignore it?
    Thanks, Amanda

  2. smarquis86

    smarquis86 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    Yakima, WA
    how old are the hens
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    It is quite common for chickens to try and establish dominance over each other, hence the term "pecking order". While there is always a chance that your birds could get over the fence and unto the neighbor's property with one wing clipped and a 3' fence it is unlikely. As for the pond they will just ignore. Congratulations on starting on your way towards a full blown chicken mania.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  4. coyotesmommy

    coyotesmommy Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    I thought my two were trying to establish a pecking order until somebody crowed at me..... turns out even at two or months old two roosters start fighting so I hope they are old enough that you are sure you got hens.[​IMG]

  5. chickenchick65

    chickenchick65 Hatching

    Feb 13, 2011
    Hi - I'm no expert, being relatively new myself. But it seems to me that they are just trying to establish dominance, a natural behavior. If it goes too far (one is seriously injured) then you need to suspect a stressor in their environment - crowding, overheating, insufficient food or water, etc. If it's none of these things, you may just have an aggressive chicken who needs to be relocated.
    As far as you pond is concerned, they won't go in it but they will drink out of it! [​IMG]
  6. amandajane

    amandajane Hatching

    Apr 28, 2011
    Thank you so much for your prompt replies and helpful advice.

    I am so glad we got chickens, my children (and myself!) love them!!

    As for their age, they are not very old, the breeder we bought them from said they will start laying in about 2 weeks, although my children have still been checking every day for eggs!

    Thanks again x

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