1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Pecking behavior question, I really need help figuring this out.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tori8780, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. tori8780

    tori8780 Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    6
    83
    Jul 13, 2012
    On Saturday I found a hen severely pecked in the back of the head. She is now recuperating in our basement in a kennel. Everything has been fine since then, but yesterday night I went out and found two more pecked hens. Not nearly as bad, only a tiny spot of missing feathers and one had a tiny bit of blood too. I sprayed them with blue kote and left them. This morning my husband just sent me a picture of one of my roo's all bloody. He has some pretty bad frostbite on his comb, but I think he needs to come inside too. Who would be doing this? We do have 2 roos, but I have been holding off on getting rid of one as they have not been aggressive towards each other and I want to see which one is the better roo. I have observed the flock as much as possible to see who might be the aggressive one but so far no luck (I work full time and go to school as well, so I only have a short time at night to observe). I did notice our barred rock rooster chasing and pecking at hens a bit when he couldnt catch them to mate them. Could this be causing the bald, sore spots on the back of their head? I just dont know what to do. I cant bring 5 chickens inside to heal. And I cant keep letting them all get bloodied up. Any suggestions? Please help!

    For reference, we have a flock of 15 that have been together since they arrived from the hatchery. 13 hens, 2 roos about 5.5 months old. They live in an old shed that is 10x12 feet and have access to .5 acres to free range on during the day (though its been very cold and snowy here in MI lately).
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Pecking behavior is typically hen on hen. This sounds more like roo damage. Because there are two, they may be even rougher when they try to mate. It really would be best to observe them long enough to see who is doing what to whom. Or you could try removing the two roos. If they are penned together but not near the hens, especially if they can't see or hear the hens, they shouldnt fight, hopefully. Some roos are just a lot more aggressive than others.
     
  3. tori8780

    tori8780 Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    6
    83
    Jul 13, 2012
    Well, we just put the injured roo in the basement to heal. If its roo damage I think its best to get rid of one. The barred rock has been getting aggressive towards me lately and this morning I watched him try to mate a couple hens and when he couldnt catch them he pecked them. So my gut says its him, but I just dont know for sure. There is only about a half hour of daylight when I get home and I'm usually outside with them doing chores or just watching them, but still havent seen anything.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by