One of My Hens is Pecking out Feathers of the Other

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CenLaChicken, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. CenLaChicken

    CenLaChicken Out Of The Brooder

    I have three chickens. Got a pair of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, about 8-9 mos. old, who have been together since birth. Also a Leghorn mixed hen probably 18 mos. old. We got them all and they've been living together for almost two weeks. The Wyandotte hen, Penny, chases and shoos away the mixed hen, Bernadette, at feedings. I noticed this morning several of the mixed hens feathers seem to have been pulled out - small feathers looks like from the top of her back. I have never seen such an assault take place by either of the Wyandottes against the Leghorn, but clearly something is going on. I don't want her to be hurt. What should I do? They stay in a coop, but usually free range in the yard for 2-4 hours every day. The Leghorn hen doesn't seem to be hurt, but I have seen the Wyandotte hen chase and peck at her. Ideas? Suggestions? [​IMG]
     
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
  3. CenLaChicken

    CenLaChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you. That seems extreme, but I'll keep it in mind. I spent about an hour and a half outside with them in the yard today. They were fine. I'm hoping it will subside as they spend time together. If not, I'll look closer at the peepers. Thanks again!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,542
    7,741
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Peepers do seem extreme at this point.

    They've only been together for 2 weeks?
    2 grew up together and the other is from another source?

    They are probably still determining the pecking order, pretty normal.
    As long as there's no blood being drawn, no ones being pinned down and beaten, and everyone's getting enough to eat.....just let them work it out.

    How much space do they have? Feet by feet and/or pics would help.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,207
    5,118
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    x2
     
  6. frank3399

    frank3399 Just Hatched

    7
    1
    10
    May 26, 2015
    rhode island
    ×3
     
  7. CenLaChicken

    CenLaChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks y'all! They've only been together for 11 days. And no signs of blood or any kind of holding down and pecking, etc. Nothing close to that. Their coop is about 5x8 but we let them out free range in our yard every day for at least a couple hours, sometimes more. They always stay close together and follow one another all over the yard. No sign of any trouble except for at feeding. I think you're right. Think they're still working out the pecking order. Here are pics of the coop and the chicks. Thank you again! You've made me feel better. The Wyandotte pair is in most of the pictures. The Leghorn mix hen is top center.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,207
    5,118
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    That's tight accommodations, I would look to expand your run some more.
     
  9. CenLaChicken

    CenLaChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Yes, the coop is small. We will probably enlarge it, but the chickens will be out free range in the yard (acre lot) much more as time passes and we get our dogs acclimated to them.
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,207
    5,118
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    That's good, hopefully your dogs are easy going.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by