Pecking Order & Beak Trimmed - Please help me

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ALittleHen, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. ALittleHen

    ALittleHen New Egg

    Dec 5, 2016
    I have an original hen who I'm pretty sure is Rhode Island Red (not quite sure) - she's the only hen that survived (predators got other 2)- her beak is full, we didn't do anything to it.

    I had to go get a hen/friend for her - and since winter is coming, I had to go buy a hen from the store. Unfortunately her beak IS trimmed. When I was at the store though, I chose her since her beak was longer than the others (still sad though [​IMG] ) Here's an image:

    Now the original hen has always been the head of the flock with the other two hens. She pecked at them constantly (mainly the lowest member) I don't think I ever saw blood being drawn, but it did cause the other hen to fly out of the run multiple times.

    When I placed the Golden Comet in with the Rhode Island Red, they were alright, but then the Rhode Island Red began pecking at her. I'm not sure what to do, because the new hen doesn't really know anything. She was raised with thousands of other hens, all debeaked/beak trimmed. She runs away and doesn't fight back (and she doesn't have a sharp beak).

    Also, the Rhode Island Red is about 1.5 years old and the Golden Comet is 6 months - they're the same size though.

    How long does it take for the pecking order to get sorted out between 2 hens?? And will the pecking continue afterwards?

    On a side note, how do you teach hens to drink from a nipple? I set up the bucket with it, but they don't seem to drink from it.

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  2. ALittleHen

    ALittleHen New Egg

    Dec 5, 2016
    And would getting a third chicken help? Maybe the main chicken won't be so aggressive to the one hen.

    **Also just checked on the hens. The Rhode Island Red forced the Golden Comet to sleep on the floor - and the roost IS long enough for the two of them.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  3. A third hen will help.....Two more even better......A large Rock in the Run to hone their beaks on would do wonders to her beak.....I have one and my Birds have great beaks..........

    1 person likes this.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    When you add birds, think of adding and subtracting points.

    Home court = +1
    stranger = -1

    Older = +1
    Younger = -1

    Larger = +1
    smaller = -1

    so you see your original hen gets all the points.

    Now more added to less gets more points.

    So if you add 3 new birds = +3, now the older gal has less advantage. There will still be pecking, but pecking takes work, and there are so many to peck, it spreads it around.

    You don't have to keep all the birds, but even a week will help. However, a lot depends on the space of the coop. If you are in a tiny coop/ tiny run set up, without places to hide or get away from each other, it would be better to do the look but don't touch method.

    Over crowding never helps.

    Mrs K
  5. ALittleHen

    ALittleHen New Egg

    Dec 5, 2016
    Thank you for the replies. I contacted someone on craigslist with a 3.5 year old Rhode Island Red hen, however she is submissive according to the person. But I'm crossing my fingers that the hen is still available and will help out the coop dynamics.

    I can't fit 3 new birds, 2 the most. I have a pretty small coop ~ 3 (mayyybee 4) chickens max with their size for them to have space.

    I don't want to buy another hen with a cut beak :c I only bought the Golden Comet because the original hen was getting very lonely/sad.
  6. Well...Good luck......Others will now pipe in about Coop size.........Just do what your doing and I hope it all works out great......

  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    How to get them to drink from a nipple waterer: I'd put the new waterer close to where the previous one was, if possible. Maybe take away the old waterer for a little bit (1 hour) before putting in the nipple waterer, so they're thirsty. The chickens should be curious as to what the new waterer is and peck at it. If they seem to have trouble getting the hang of it, tap the nipple when they're close by and drip a little on their beak. They'll figure it out. I really didn't have any issue switching mine over, took maybe 5-10 minutes to get all of them testing it out.

    It does need to be the only source of water as chickens seem to prefer muddy puddles, water dripping off the fence, dew drops off leaves, etc, over clean water that you're trying to get them to drink. It's very rainy right now so mine pretty much ignore the waterer in favor of licking the coop roof and run fencing. [​IMG]

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