Once they start being mean to eachother...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3peeps, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    My wyandotte has turned into a total boss. She's picking the head of my australorp all the time...enough that feathers are constantly missing. Happens especially when any food is introduced, and when they are trying to settle onto the roost at night.

    I went out there tonight to turn the garage light off and she had the australorp backed up behind the waterer in this tiny corner, and wouldn't let her out.

    It's not like they are starving for space, and it's only the two of them. The mamma and the "children" are in a tractor.

    Is this considered feather picking? I've heard that's hard to stop.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  2. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    I wish I could offer you advice. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this because I am considering getting a companion chicken for my Australorp. I know she gets lonely when I have to leave her, but being picked on would be so much worse for her.
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    It's called pecking order. Maybe if you add a few more chickens, your one chicken wouldn't be her sole focus. Or get them a roo to keep them in line, LOL
  4. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    Thanks. No roosters for us. [​IMG] LOL Does pecking order always have to leave such injury, though?
  5. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    Quote:I think you could get another australorp or two. Chickens are social. [​IMG] As much as my wyandotte picks on my australorp, they are also peas in a pod, always doing the same thing in the same area...digging, bathing, napping, etc.
  6. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    Im so torn...then there would be the age difference if I cant find one near her age. Id really like to get a roo for her. Shed have lovely babies I think. Plus, shed probably do well if the chicks were her own.
    Everyone keeps telling me how social chickens are but Chickie has been alone with just me ever since I found her (guessing she was a week old then). Im afraid she might be spoiled like an only child. Id hate for her to get upset by me introducing another chicken into her run and coop. I just cant decide!
  7. granmahen

    granmahen Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    It seems australorps are just too nice. My RI does the same pick on job to the others (could it be because she laid eggs first). The leghorn and NHR don't back down (they now lay also) but the australorp (no eggs yet) just backs off and takes it. Hmmm maybe needs some self-defense classes. When I see it I peck the RI with my finger and say no. I pretend that helps.[​IMG]
  8. Lea71

    Lea71 Songster

    I am having the same problem. I have one EE who persistantly, for a few weeks, has been pulling the other girls feathers out right at their tail/back. So much that one of the other EE's has practically no feathers left in that area. She then eats them....and believe me they get plenty of the right stuff....greens and yogurt everyday, high-protein feed and wheat strewn about to peck at. So I isolated her in a dog carrier in the house last Sunday, she has been getting lots of holding and attention...I think she really liked it. I just reintroduced her to the coop this morning and now, none of the other chickens are putting up with her...they are actually chasing her around and bullying her...I'm gonna keep a good eye on it...I don't want her to get hurt and I'll have to find a good home for her if she doesn't get with the program. But while she was in 'chicken jail' it was so peaceful between all the other chickens...no fighting....so we'll see. She might actually have to hit the road...or the dinner table. [​IMG] I really want to keep her, she's the prettiest EE out there but she has a bad attitude....we'll see. I think she's been knocked down a peg or two by being taken away for awhile.
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have a Black Star that gets picked on all of the time. I hate it because she is the gentle one that will let me pick her up.
  10. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:I wouldn't get a roo until I had at least 2 or 3 hens. That way he would have a few more girls to share his "affections" with. If you only have 1 hen with a roo, she'll soon be bare-backed and bald headed. I have 2 roos and 25 adult hens, I still have some with bare backs and bald heads. They must be the sexiest hens in the flock, I guess.

    Some chickens do form an attachment to their people, my DH has a hen he named Rita who will follow him around. She likes to be picked up and petted. She gets jealous if he picks up another chicken. But still, when she got broody, she pecked both us us if we bothered her on the nest, and attacked if we got too near her chicks...until they got big enough to be on their own, she suddenly ignored them and was the pet chicken again.

    If you get a few more pullets, they'll squawk and carry on a bit until they decide who's boss, etc., then they'll get along just fine, with only an occasion peck here and there. If they're younger than Chickie, odds are she'll be the boss. Even if you think they're spoiled, they're still chickens, have the instincts of chickens, and can adapt well to being with other chickens.

    Do you know what breed she is? She may not be a breed that's inclined to brood, so she may not have any interest in hatching her own eggs. If she is a broody type, it won't matter if she hatches her own eggs our others. She'll consider them hers anyway. I have a Cornish who hatched a small clutch of guinea eggs for me this year, they hang out with the chickens. The mama Cornish still hangs around with them, but 2 other hens have also decided they like them, and they sort of foster them as well, but that's odd and doesn't happen a lot. I just happen to have a couple of hens that want to mother everything.

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