Not sure who the bully is - can it be the pecked hen herself?

LouloubelleHMC

In the Brooder
Nov 6, 2021
5
30
29
Hi. I've got 10 hens that all appear to get on without any visible (as in I don't see any scrapping, pecking or bullying) signs of upset. However, one hen has always been pecked raw, with another partially so. I have never seen or heard them squabbling and I am out in the garden a lot, around them. All the others are in beautiful shape. They all peck when I throw out greenery/corn/bugs etc without any signs of stress and the pecked ones don't show any sign of being stressed (such as being broody or cowering, etc. There is much to entertain them all in their large enclosed area (30x20ft) and 4 watering places, although only one feeding area. I have sprayed every anti-pecking spray on these two and things will heal a wee bit for a few days but then it all starts up again with a vengeance. I have no idea who is or could be the bully and I have watched them for a long time to try and pick up on odd behaviours. I don't even know when they are getting pecked. They have loads of room in their housing. I have kept them separate but the stress of that drove them to find a way to be with the others. Now I am wondering if they are doing it to themselves. I don't want to put those little plastic glasses on all of the chooks if it's only one of them, but now that winter is here I have to be really tough about it. I am really hoping someone here may have some suggestions or tips. They regularly get dowsed in DE as does their living space, and there are no signs of mites on them. Thanks in anticipation.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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There is much to entertain them all in their large enclosed area (30x20ft)
Sounds good.

They have loads of room in their housing
Do you mean their coop?
How big is it?
RoostTimeRumble may be where the injuries are happening.
Have you ever watched them settle in to roost at night?

Pics of both coop and run, inside and out, might help here.
 

LouloubelleHMC

In the Brooder
Nov 6, 2021
5
30
29
Sounds good.


Do you mean their coop?
How big is it?
RoostTimeRumble may be where the injuries are happening.
Have you ever watched them settle in to roost at night?

Pics of both coop and run, inside and out, might help here.
Thanks aart. There are two sleeping areas - one coop, which is 4ft square with room for all chooks if they wanted, but only two sleep in there at night, although half a dozen of them lay in there. And then there is a small barn which they have which is about 15ft x 5ft, with nesting boxes and about 15ft, all in, of roosting space. There is a long roosting branch down the left hand side where they all tend to want to roost. Occasionally some roost up in the rafters (how they get up there with clipped wings beats me, but they do). You can see all 10 chooks feeding in their compost area on the right with the poor two girls in with them, happily eating. I probably might have to try and get out there as they go to bed at night, and move at least one of the tatty ones into the smaller coop. Trouble is, I tried doing that before for a week or so, but things didn't improve. Conundrum, but of course there is always a reason for everything. TIA
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,187
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What are you feeding? I'd consider an extra feeder (mostly precautionary, but always good to have multiple feed sources) and upping the protein of their feed, depending on what they currently eat, especially if you do frequently treat them with veggies as shown in the photo.
 

LouloubelleHMC

In the Brooder
Nov 6, 2021
5
30
29
They get layers pellets in the feeder and I throw them corn and mealworms every day. There are quite a few bugs under the compost area that they like to dig for. I never seem to see any squabbling over food at any point during the day. I did consider protein before, but I would imagine that any deficiencies would affect the whole flock. Thanks though!
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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They get layers pellets in the feeder and I throw them corn and mealworms every day.

Layer pellets are already a bit marginal for protein and diluting it with daily corn can create a deficiency.

You might experiment with switching to 18-20% All-flock and cutting out all treats for several weeks (offering oystershell on the side, of course).
 

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