Normal chicken behavior or not?

Saramorgan27

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2018
10
3
19
I have a Wyandotte, a golden camping, and a speckled Sussex all in the same pen with a rooster that is just now starting to show interest in mating. They all came from the same breeder and from what I understand, the Wyandotte and campine were in the same proximity. When we got them, these two hens did not have their tail feathers. The lady said that they had been pecked out by the rooster that was in the pen with them. They are slowly but surely growing back in. Everything was fine for the first few weeks. The hens got along great. One day, I came out to the pen, and found that my speckled sussex's eye was swollen, so I sat and watched. My Wyandotte was pecking at it. I am not sure if it because the rooster can only get a old of her right now, or what, but I don't know what to do at this point. I tried separating her into a separate smaller pen next to our big pen for a few days to see if I could change the pecking order up a bit, but when I put her back in to the big pen, she started going after my speckled Sussex again. I' at a loss. Can someone please help me. Would adding another hen with tail feathers help even things out since the Sussex is the only one that has them right now? Should I separate the rooster out? Should I just let them work it out? I don' want my Sussex to go blind if she starts pecking at her eye again. :hmm:hmm
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Pecking is usually from crowding or boredom. How big is your set up? I'm guessing it's smaller which can cause lots of problems. Sharing more information about your set up and what you feed can help. Pictures too.

:welcome
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
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On the MN prairie.
I have a Wyandotte, a golden camping, and a speckled Sussex all in the same pen with a rooster that is just now starting to show interest in mating. They all came from the same breeder and from what I understand, the Wyandotte and campine were in the same proximity. When we got them, these two hens did not have their tail feathers. The lady said that they had been pecked out by the rooster that was in the pen with them. They are slowly but surely growing back in. Everything was fine for the first few weeks. The hens got along great. One day, I came out to the pen, and found that my speckled sussex's eye was swollen, so I sat and watched. My Wyandotte was pecking at it. I am not sure if it because the rooster can only get a old of her right now, or what, but I don't know what to do at this point. I tried separating her into a separate smaller pen next to our big pen for a few days to see if I could change the pecking order up a bit, but when I put her back in to the big pen, she started going after my speckled Sussex again. I' at a loss. Can someone please help me. Would adding another hen with tail feathers help even things out since the Sussex is the only one that has them right now? Should I separate the rooster out? Should I just let them work it out? I don' want my Sussex to go blind if she starts pecking at her eye again. :hmm:hmm
:welcome

I'm a little confused. Is your rooster pecking at the SS eye? If not, there is no reason to separate him. I have never had to separate a chicken to change up the pecking order, but I have read it should be for a week or more. How much room do you have (in feet by feet) in your coop? And your run?
 

Saramorgan27

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2018
10
3
19
We just have a run. It is 8ftx8ft and about 7ft tall. It has a tin roof over 2/3 over it and chicken wire over the rest. We plan on making upgrades, but we are new chicken owners, and this is the set up that our good friends have, and it works very well for them. The rooster is not pecking at the Sussex's eye, the Wyandotte is. They are eating laying mash, and I have also been giving them greens from our garden, egg shells, and some some boiled eggs occasionally. I don' have any pictures of their pen, but I have pictures of them.i can get pictures of the pen tomorrow morning though.
 

Saramorgan27

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2018
10
3
19
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oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
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Jul 16, 2015
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Looks like you got some feather picking going on too. They probably need more room, and need a higher protein feed than a layer.
 

PachecoPeeps

Songster
Mar 2, 2018
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We just have a run. It is 8ftx8ft and about 7ft tall. It has a tin roof over 2/3 over it and chicken wire over the rest. We plan on making upgrades, but we are new chicken owners, and this is the set up that our good friends have, and it works very well for them. The rooster is not pecking at the Sussex's eye, the Wyandotte is. They are eating laying mash, and I have also been giving them greens from our garden, egg shells, and some some boiled eggs occasionally. I don' have any pictures of their pen, but I have pictures of them.i can get pictures of the pen tomorrow morning though.
If you plan on keeping the rooster be sure to not feed layer food. The extra calcium can damage their kidneys and kill them. You would want either all flock or flock raiser food and offer oyster shells on the side for the hens. For your hens without tails you can apply blu-kote to kelp prevent further picking.
 

Saramorgan27

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2018
10
3
19
If you plan on keeping the rooster be sure to not feed layer food. The extra calcium can damage their kidneys and kill them. You would want either all flock or flock raiser food and offer oyster shells on the side for the hens. For your hens without tails you can apply blu-kote to kelp prevent further picking.
I will be sure to go to the feed store tomorrow and pick some different feed up. Will a higher protein feed be okay for my rooster though? I know I need it for the hens because they are trying to grow back their feathers. They came to me like this. They are actually growing back in quite nicely. It is just taking a while. I haven' noticed any picking of feathers. Just the Wyandotte pecking the SS's eye.
 

Saramorgan27

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2018
10
3
19
Looks like you got some feather picking going on too. They probably need more room, and need a higher protein feed than a layer.
The hens actually came to me like this. The pictures were from when we first got them. The feathers are growing in quite nicely, and I haven't noticed any pecking of feathers. Just the pecking of the one eye. I will go pick up some higher protein food, and see if that helps. Maybe get them some meal worms? I was thinking of maybe getting them a hanging perch as well? I have read that those types of things help with boredom. These chickens have become sort of a therapy for me. I am having some health issues, and I spend as much time as I can with them. I just want to do what is best for them.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Feed everyone an All Flock ration with a separate bowl of oyster shells. The higher protein will be good for your roosters. I don't give mealworms. I do throw out scratch daily to give my birds stuff to peck and scratch at. Perches can help.

I've had health problems for a while too. Chickens get me up and going in the morning, and keep me busy and my mind occupied.
 

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