Older Hens won't let my younger hen eat or drink

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by flowergirl60, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    My 2 older hens will not let my younger hen eat her food or drink her water. [​IMG] I have 2 seperate food and water containers and every time my little one goes to eat from her little pen the older ones go over there and she runs away. And if she goes to the other containers they follow her and scare her off there. Any suggestions.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You do have a problem, don't you? Sorry! I really don't know of any way to get the older ones to accept the young one. I have one younger one, and the 7 mature hens don't include her in their group, but there is enough space that the young one can sneak in the coop and eat. I keep an eye on her crop late in the day. I've known them to keep young ones outside the main group for a year.

    I guess you could try being the lead hen and "pecking" the two older ones when they do this to the young one. I've read of people doing this. Actually, I sometimes "peck" my lead hen to try to keep her from being too much of a bully. I use a long flexible dried weed branch and just tap her; I don't actually hurt her, of course, it's just for the message. Might be worth a try.
     
  3. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    Thanks ddawn. I certainly will give it a try. [​IMG] It's actually 1 of the older ones. The other one tolerates her.
     
  4. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Remove the bully for a few days.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    You could spray her with a water hose when she starts picking on the younger one to express your displeasure with her actions. Somebody on here has mentioned that before. DDawn, do you remember who that was?

    If it is only one of the two, older hens you might try locking the aggressor up by herself for a few days. When you put her back in with the others, she will have been knocked down a bit in the pecking order and may stay confused long enough for them to work it out.

    Each chicken has her own personality. You can never be sure what will work.
     
  6. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    Thanks again for all the advice. I will try the water hose first and if that doesn't work I guess I'll go with locking her up. She is my egg layer. The younger one has not started laying yet and the other older one is not laying. [​IMG] If I seperate her, the other coop is small. It doesn't have nesting boxes. My younger one use to stay there at night. She now is in the big coop at night with both of them and they don't bother her at night.
     
  7. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    S.E. Michigan
    Squirt guns would work too if they are practicle for your set-up.
     
  8. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    Forgot about squirt guns. I have some from last summer. That is happening today.[​IMG]
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    South Georgia
    Quote:No, sorry. And I've never tried it on a chicken -- but it sure worked on my cat.
     
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I've used a light sprinkle to chase mine out of a garden bed, after I had just planted. Just a sprinkle does it with mine and they scurry off. I find it satisfying to call after them, "Go find something else to do! You know, this hose has a higher setting!"

    As long as she's eating her fill 2-3 times a day, plus drinking, she should get through this time okay. You may just have to referee for a little while. If you can set it up so they can't see both of the areas all the time, that may help. Can you put anything in the way to block the view, that doesn't block her escape paths?

    I don't know how your area is set up, but you can also add areas higher up, if you have any spare tables around or something you can set up like that. If they get out of their run at all, you can add additional water bowls around for now.

    You can also scatter some feed, scratch, sunflower seeds or other food around in a wide area. That way they can't be everywhere at once. They might also be too busy eating to watch her the whole time. Scattering food works great for that. You could also try some other food diversions to keep them busy. Like hanging a cabbage or putting greens or other foods in a cage. Something that will keep them busy. Again, they might not keep as close an eye on what she's doing, while they're busy.
     

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