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Newbie: Chickens Fighting.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dorisisthemotherchicken, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Dorisisthemotherchicken

    Dorisisthemotherchicken New Egg

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    Sep 1, 2009
    Hello Dear Fellow Chicken Keepers,

    I'm new here. I'm seventeen and I live with my parents and my little brother and sister, we're vegetarians. In our garden we got on Sunday, 5 battery ex hens, they are laying everyday, well at least one of them is, but we need a bit of help. One of them, Doris, is pecking the other hens, I know about pecking order, but it seems to be quite vicious, I tried to stop it, by talking loudly to them, which scared them off for a bit, but then later they started again. I've Goggled stuff, but all I've found is vinegar, and oil, and to separate the bully from the coop in front of them, but our garden is quite small, and we're a bit tight on money. Plus how does vinegar work if you know it works, do you put it with their water and give it to the bully, or the good chickens? They're still a bit nervous, they've been traumatized so we're recovering them back to health, but they've come far in the last two days, they can come outside in their coop for their food.

    Would be very helpful if someone gave me some tips,

    It's great having an unlimited supply of eggs!

    Hannah
    x
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Welcome to the forum. Glad to have you here.

    You say your garden is small. Chickens need a certain amount of room or they will display aggressive behavior. The general rule of thumb is 4 square fet per chicken in the coop and 10 square feet per chicken in the run, but this is just a general rule of thumb. Some people with less room don't have problems and a few with more room do. A lot depends on the specific chickens.

    Since you just got them and moved them to a new location, it is very possible that it is still pecking order issues. Doris may be just letting them know that she is the boss. As long as she is not drawing blood, don't worry too much. It could easily work its way out in time. Pecking order can be pretty vicious. One lady on here hits the aggressive hen with a squirt of water from a garden hose when she attacks. She reports this has worked for her. I have not had to try it.

    It is possible your Doris is really Attilla the Hun in disguise. She may be one of those vicious hens that cannot live with other hens. That would be for you to decide. For peace in the flock, you may need to go wth four hens, but as long as she is not drawing blood, I'd let it go for a while.

    Good luck!
     
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    The vinegar is just about adding a tablespoon or so of cider vinegar to their water, they seem to like it and it keeps the water from going green, as well as probably provides some healthy acidity to the water. Many people even drink a little cider vinegar in water in the morning too!

    OK, the aggessive hen, you can possibly put her in a box or small pen, or smaller area for a little while a few times a day to give the more timid hens a chance to get their bearings and confidence. They will be better able to handle the agressive one if they are given some time without her, and it will take the meanie down a peg.

    Some hens are just bossie and want to be in charge, kinda like some kids or a super bossie adult in the neighborhood. It's a little chunk of society in every flock.

    Good luck with your new charges! There's lots to read and learn here and you'll learn just by watching them too.
     

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