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Ornery Hens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ovaunda, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. ovaunda

    ovaunda Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Enoch, UT
    So we now have 11 hens and 2 roos. The 2 roos are housed separate from the girls now..we had 1 in with the girls and he was getting picked on..all of his feathers were picked and he was skiddish. He's doing great by himself - separated by a fence next to the other roo (so neither are with the hens).

    I have been trying to figure out why the HENS are so aggressive with one another. They have picked each others tail feathers and seem to be balding. They are not aggressive to anyone or anything else and they all lay almost daily.

    They have a huge run and hen house where they will all lay in the same corner.

    They love attention and will follow me around on my heels..I can pet them and pick them up without a problem...any ideas?

    4-Barred Rocks
    5-White Leghorns
    2-Rhode Island Reds


    TIA!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. sfw2

    sfw2 Global Menace

    Are all the hens aggressive, or are one or two doing all the damage?
     
  3. ovaunda

    ovaunda Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Enoch, UT
    Sadly, they all seem to be picking on one another.
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    What about food? Do you feed free choice or limit food intake?
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Could it be molting? It's that time of year.
    Or are you seeing them pick on one another.

    Could be boredom if they are confined.

    Imp
     
  6. ovaunda

    ovaunda Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Enoch, UT
    Their food is free choice. We offer layer feed and scratch together and oyster shell separate as well as occasional fruits and veggies.

    I considered molting but have seen them plucking at one another - most of them are now missing their tail feathers. This only recently started so I don't know what changed.

    Unfortunately they are confined to a run due to our dogs..but there is plenty of room for all of them. I do laugh because at night they roost together fine. Just like my kids..get along one minute and hate one another the next.

    How do I curb the boredom if that's what it is?
     
  7. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If they aren't crowded, try more protein in their diet. Less scratch. If they are molting and laying they need more. They are probably eating those feathers.
     
  8. ovaunda

    ovaunda Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2008
    Enoch, UT
    I have seen cat food suggested for protein with mixed reviews. Is this a good supplement?
     
  9. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  10. ovaunda

    ovaunda Out Of The Brooder

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    44
    Apr 4, 2008
    Enoch, UT
    Some good ideas..I will have to try a few things and see if that works. Thanks!
     

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