Old biddy bully hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Foxbury, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Foxbury

    Foxbury New Egg

    May 26, 2014
    Last spring I brought home 4 new chicks to add to my one year-old flock of 4 other hens. I kept them separated of course until they were big enough to mix with the older hens. I then moved the pullets' little coop they grew up in into the very large fenced in run diagonally across from the large coop the older hens live in and fenced off a little area for the pullets. I gave them time to sniff each other out so I could eventually move the pullets into the large coop and take away the little fenced off area. Well... fast forward to now and I still have the chickens in their little coop, but without the tiny fence so they mix during the day but end up in their own coops every night. I'm afraid of moving them into the big coop, judging by the older hens' behavior during the day they would be massacred. They have plenty of room and places to hide in the run to run away from the older hens during the day but I am worried about all of them in the coop together. If one of the younger hens ends up in the bigger coop and I go in to tuck them in at night, when I shine the light to make sure everyone's OK the older hen will realize she is snuggled up to one of the younger hands and suddenly give her a good peck and chase her away. ) :

    It's like all 4 of the the older hens' only job is to intimidate or chase them away from any food or water all day long. Of course at this point all of the hens are the same size so this has me scratching my head.

    I thought it was usually one bully at the top of the pecking order
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Chickens are very territorial. How big is your coop in feet by feet? How about the run? How long is the roost? It can help to have multiple roosts on different levels. There is a flock hierarchy that involved all the birds. More than one feeder and waterer will help. If you put the younger ones in at night and they get pecked when you shine a flashlight in to check on them, maybe you need to stop shining the flashlight in. Chickens sleep at night. They are generally not active at all. If the older ones aren't drawing blood, I'd let them work it out for themselves, provided I knew they had plenty of space to do so.
  3. sheetmetaltom

    sheetmetaltom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    agree, they should all be together by now if your original coop is big enough for everyone. when im adding new birds i put them in in the dark and everything works itself out in a day or 2. i have 8 11 week old girls ill be adding to my flock in about 4 weeks when they are closer in size. i will just stick them in at night like usual good luck
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Good questions^^^ that need to be answered.
    Pics would help.

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