Normal pecking order behavior or serious aggression?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jleigh333, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. jleigh333

    jleigh333 New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Georgia
    We have three chickens (2 RIR, 1 BSL) in a small-ish coop. We built it out of a recycled armoire and built/attached a pen to the back of it. The pen itself is about 5ft x 5ft x 5ft cube. These three chickens have been raised together since they hatched. One RIR injured her comb (I talked about it in a previous post) and she's been confined to a crate in our bathroom for 10 days. She's healed now and we really want to put her back in the coop. I've tried taking her outside and spending time next to the coop so the other two chickens can see her and they absolutely go CRAZY at the sight of her. They seem like they would literally tear her apart. One actually made the front of her comb bleed from hitting her face against the hardware cloth trying to get to her. The other two chickens seem to become extra territorial and even fight each other when they see the other one. The RIR attacked the BSL and made her comb bleed. Once they can't see the other chicken, they stop fighting. I'm really worried that I'm not going to be able to put the third chicken back in the coop. She is slightly smaller than the other two and I'm terrified that they'd kill her. I'm just so beyond frustrated right now. Do we just need to bite the bullet and build another small coop for our third chicken? Did we make the original coop too small for three chickens? There is one nesting box. Do they need more space? WHERE IS THE EASY BUTTON?!?!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    You have 2 things going on.
    When you take one away for a while and then put it back they aren't a flock member any more and have to reintegrate.
    You also have a space issue. Chickens don't like smallish spaces. They bore quickly and start taking it out on each other. That's why caged battery hens have to have beaks trimmed.
    Rather than another small coop, I'd build a larger permanent facility.
    4 sq. ft. of space in the coop per bird and 10 sq. ft. in the pen is a minimum. The fewer birds, the more those numbers need to grow because a single bird would go nuts in 4 sq. ft..

    One option is to remove the bully RIR for a few days and put the other one back in to see if it will integrate with the sex link.
     
  3. jleigh333

    jleigh333 New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Georgia
    My parents have a large coop and she said she'll foster two of my chickens. I'm just going to keep one until we can build a bigger coop. I'm so bummed. I thought the armoire coop would be big enough but I was wrong. :( Oh well. My one chicken should be very happy with her very own coop.
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Ohio
    Your coop looks large enough for three birds if they have lots of run space. You could add a large run and be good. That being said, chicken math hits the best of us and you simply don't have enough coop space for more birds--and I would bet money that some day you'll want more birds. [​IMG]
     
  5. jleigh333

    jleigh333 New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Georgia
    I already wish I could have more! I want a big coop so badly but that will have to wait until later down the road. One day I WILL have my dream coop. :)
     

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