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other hens wont let one eat

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gpwelding1, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. gpwelding1

    gpwelding1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2011
    upstate south carolina
    right now we have 4 Dom hens 2 black hens and 1 RIR hen.all of them get along fine except the RIR.the others keep running her off and wont let her eat.
    is there anything i can do other than putting her and our Wyandot roo in a seperate area?our Plymouth rock roo is running him too.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Chickens can be mean that way....Can you fence off a corner of the coop, or make a place in the run where they can hide and eat and drink?
     
  3. I wouldn't seperate them if you want them to co-exist together in the long run...it'll just stall the process and could make things worse. I would stand there with them and place her in front of the food and make sure she starts eating...if they try to run her off, grab her and place her back in front of the food and stomp at the others. They will see your dominance and that you are protecting her and will soon back off. Also, try giving treats like raisins, grapes, cut up fruit, cheerios, etc. This sometimes helps as well! You also might want to try two feeders for now and then later switch to just one...this will get them just used to the idea of eating along side of one another. Good luck!
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Question. Is there adequate length to your feeding station so that all your birds have plenty of room to approach? If it is crowded at all, the pecking order scuffle breaks out and the lowest loses out.
     
  5. gpwelding1

    gpwelding1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2011
    upstate south carolina
    im going to try a second feeder.this may be the problem.i'll let you know how it goes.thanks for the advise.
     
  6. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They're not 'being mean'. We have a tendency to anthropomorphize (assign human qualities to non-human creatures) our chickens. I too have a pullet who is the bottom of the pecking order and is sometimes kept from eating. Unfortunately, even though we have domesticated chickens, they still have instinct from their wild ancestry. As humans we want to protect the weak and help them. In the wild a weaker chicken becomes a liability to the flock and their instinct is to isolate that bird.

    I hate it too. I would suggest seperating the ones being prevented from eating so they can eat. But I would do it in such a way that they are in full view of the rest of the flock. The flock sees you as a member of the flock which is why the pullets/hens will squat. Plus you control the food. Personally, I would pen them off for feeding but feed them first so the others see it, then feed the others. Over time this might bring them up the social 'ladder' of the flock.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Quote:They're not 'being mean'. We have a tendency to anthropomorphize (assign human qualities to non-human creatures) our chickens. I too have a pullet who is the bottom of the pecking order and is sometimes kept from eating. Unfortunately, even though we have domesticated chickens, they still have instinct from their wild ancestry. As humans we want to protect the weak and help them. In the wild a weaker chicken becomes a liability to the flock and their instinct is to isolate that bird.

    I hate it too. I would suggest seperating the ones being prevented from eating so they can eat. But I would do it in such a way that they are in full view of the rest of the flock. The flock sees you as a member of the flock which is why the pullets/hens will squat. Plus you control the food. Personally, I would pen them off for feeding but feed them first so the others see it, then feed the others. Over time this might bring them up the social 'ladder' of the flock.

    No need to over analyze my statement. Chickens demonstrate agressive behaviors towards one another. So I said the word "mean". Big deal.
     
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Quote:I like this idea much better than separating them. Good thinking! I'll bet it helps alot!
     
  9. mamadukes5

    mamadukes5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2011
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    I had two feeders in the run because four of mine wouldn't let the other two eat. So when I bring them their veggies and stuff in the morning, I put some in one feeder and some in the other feeder and stand in the middle. When the reds tried to run around me and pick on the baby girls, I pushed them back over to their own feeder and just stood there until the smaller ones finished eating. It took about a week before the four bigger ones got the idea, and now they all eat from the same place and nobody pushes at all. They also used to free range, four in one area, the other two in another area, and for the last couple of weeks, they are a flock of six all in the same place in the yard. I am actually finding it easier to train the chickens than it was two train my dogs. The chickens seem to like the routine, while the dogs are always looking for excitement. Now hopefully when I add the seven that I hatched three weeks ago, it will work out ok. My rooster didn't like me standing in front of the food too much, but he got over it quickly enough.
     
  10. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    627
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    141
    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    Quote:They're not 'being mean'. We have a tendency to anthropomorphize (assign human qualities to non-human creatures) our chickens. I too have a pullet who is the bottom of the pecking order and is sometimes kept from eating. Unfortunately, even though we have domesticated chickens, they still have instinct from their wild ancestry. As humans we want to protect the weak and help them. In the wild a weaker chicken becomes a liability to the flock and their instinct is to isolate that bird.

    I hate it too. I would suggest seperating the ones being prevented from eating so they can eat. But I would do it in such a way that they are in full view of the rest of the flock. The flock sees you as a member of the flock which is why the pullets/hens will squat. Plus you control the food. Personally, I would pen them off for feeding but feed them first so the others see it, then feed the others. Over time this might bring them up the social 'ladder' of the flock.

    No need to over analyze my statement. Chickens demonstrate agressive behaviors towards one another. So I said the word "mean". Big deal.

    Why don't we get over sensitive. If you looked, I agreed with you. I'm just like anyone else, I stand there and scold the agro ones for 'being mean' too. My point was simply that we sometimes regard one as 'mean' and another as 'nice' when they are just following their instinct. And we can use their instincts to sometimes reverse unwanted behavior. My guess is you got ticked at my first statement and didn't pay attention to anything else I wrote. So I said 'anthropomorphize'...Big Deal. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011

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