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pecking order : how to make sure each hen gets good food without getting pecked ??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by strangeanimal, May 24, 2017.

  1. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I mixe up the peckingorder to make sure the ones in the lowest rank also get daily food ??
    Issue is that the ones on top of the pecking order never allow other hens to eat , they are getting even fat while the rest of them has issues laying eggs too because they are often not allowed in the nestingboxes and it ended up today with one having her egg stuck ( you might even say eggbound ) , my orpington only eats grass and ow dear if she found a bug ! the rest that doesn't free range is eating it by first pecking that one so bad she really crawls up to the coop , same applies for the Marans , they are getting quite skinny too despite the fact I give them sneaky some mealwurms and other feed :( . The bullies are one (probably a hybrid or a mixed breed ) and my leghorns , they're bullies along with the barred girl that s to what I notice even highest in rank while I am really buying myself poor on the food !
     
  2. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    edit : there are 3 feeding area's , one inside the coop , one under the coop in the run and another outside the coop and run for the ( for now still ) free rangers to make sure each one has food but it is not about the food so it seems . The barred is growling and becoming noisy if she notices the marans , orpingtons and the redsexlinks eat , she starts to alarm the entire flock as if there is a fire which ends up in growling at the ones trying to eat ( after the others have their belly as full as it is even too much ) and they are defenseless , they just listen to the rest and step a side . In the passed this also only happened when it was weather like this and there were many broodies , one of them back then even ended up having not enough proteins to lay normal eggs , now I'm already noticing some same syptoms of lacking vitamins,minerals in two hens ... they used to be broody as well but aren't anymore ofcourse (last thing is good for me but the way is not how it should be ) and it is very much a tensed feeling there
     
  3. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have a bad case,are the low ones newly introduced?
     
  4. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Might wanna separate them,they should never get bullied to the point they get skinny and lack of food.How many hens and boxes do you have?

    What do you mean by mix the pecking order up?
     
  5. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hey thx for your opinion , it is now a smaller flock so the peckingorder has been changed already few times , I'm having indeed 2 new ones wherefrom only one is introduced into the flock ( the other has probs and stays for now inside a while ) .
    The first changes happened a time ago , some neighbours wanted to get chicks of my rooster a BCM so no rooster and the leghorns with the barred rocks became the roosters for a while then , it always implies the barred rocks to rule your flock even with a rooster here !
    Rooster is back quite recently , about a month ago . peckingorder changed not that much , in total there were back than about 12 hens present wherefrom now only 8 remaining , one barred rock died and a few were too old who either became meatbird only and a few got rehomed because the flock needed some fresh blood ( and variety ) to get 2 (max) new hens from the breeds that were in minority or better yet , should always be with more due the lack of defense in their characters so I went for Maransgirls ended up with one extra marans and one unknown hen that has the outlook in colors a little bit from a marans but is far from one ( After a lot of looking I came across the rhode rock or called black rock , a hybrid which she was a spittin' image of in looks and charasterictis plus egglaying ) , the last one got introduced to the flock and is very bossy towards the marans and the orpingtongirls .

    Laying boxes : I have only one layingbox build on a coop ( not a final coop since I'm busy building a new one , old one is teared down ) but in size it is 2.45 cm and there are some pieces of plywood to make seperate boxes , the hens that are bullies are always protecting the boxes so no hen can enter the coop nor the boxes , it looks as if they have a secret meeting to switch who will be ' at watch ' ,
    the hens :
    1 barred rock , 2 leghorn , 2 orpington (black+buff) ,2marans and one 'unknown hybrid ' plus freerangers in total 6 , they are never in the run nor coop : 2 red sexlinks and 4 english old games , they sit in the trees constantly and are gonna be rehomed .
    the bullies towards : the leghorn against marans only , the barred rock ?? against orpington and marans but none of them against the 'unknown ' and that one against marans , orpington , and on occasion leghorn (which becomes at her regret after only one minute ) .

    the situation ' before ' : barred rock highest ranking , leghorn gave no problems at all towards any breed ! now recently it turns out they all wanna be broody hens but that is especially the orpington ( a buff ) and the marans , plus the unknown and the barred one , no leghorn is broody at all , ever since this happened ( the marans were with 3 and two of them broody quite some time already ) , ever since they are removed to a ' broodycoop ' the rest of the flock is acting strange towards the breeds above , the broodies are sold now btw because I felt like they became constantly broody and I wanted some younger ones that would skip the broodypart this year but it turned out otherwise as you can see .
    the ' unkown one ' should have been a young marans and was seen as one untill I noticed the differences and the fact she didn't even hangout with that breed .
    my buff orpington is having a rough time , her in particular , she lost weight a lot and I am sneaky taking the bullied ones out to let them run where they like plus where I give them extra food but even despite this they do not gain any weight , sometimes they look so hungry that they even fight against eachother as weak as they already are so I really am clueless and actually feel so hard like failing against my animals , looks as if a small flock is totally nothing for me .

    P.s. : I have been watching them closely today , it is hot outside and the watertub is in the run , the bullies don't even let the others get in the tub ??? they start to scream excessively once they do so and if one of them just ignores that they attack her , so what is going on ?? Is the coop not good ? the mix wrong ? the food is the same and they get tons of it ! I just do NOT get it . Do forgive me the long explanation but due the changes I see it as maybe relevant to find the cause and solution (plus my english ... sux ;) )
     
  6. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    y mixing the pecking order up I ment to change the flock in some kind of way because it seems that how it is now mixed up before doesn't work at all and my roo ? he only watches it happen pff . Originally the old flock is from my passed away father who did all this so when he died the first thing I said was " no way we're keeping them !!! " but my siblings wanted to keep them because my father used to take care of them and so also us . They see the chickens more as '' the hard work dad did every single day to give us all we needed and wanted , with his bear hands '' and at first I didn't even have to look after them yet they ended up on my land since theirs was too small for such a big amount so they did the coop , run and all the required things while I only gave them some spare keys to get there , but after a few years they wanted me to take care of the flock , now I'm actually a total newbie in that since I never payed attention to it before , it's now just a few y I'm doing it all and only with the basicknowledge from our father and a lot of time spending reading like this forum , but I think we all know that once hens are at the age of six of older it is time to get them on the table and to get some new ones right ? Now that all worked out untill now , the changes are very drastically , new place , new coop , new hens , gone hens , back roo , are there now only a few instead of what it used to be before too obviously , perhaps chickens just do better in a real large flock ??? or owners ??? I honestly found it more pleasant if they are with many instead of this little bit of chickens
     
  7. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you have little space,but you could try taking the aggressive one away,keep them out of plain site,and once they are reintroduced,the pecking order gets switched up.They would have to be out of plain sight for at least a week.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds more like it could be an over crowding issue causing the bullying. How big, exactly are your coop and run in feet by feet?
     
  9. Chicken Wisperer

    Chicken Wisperer Just Hatched

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    I have a 8 X 8 by 8 ft tall, so its 8 feet square with a 4 X 4 roosting house. I have 4 chickens in it, three were put in at the same time, and one i introduced a few days later. They are picking on her, I removed what I think is a rooster, and now the 3 that are left are getting along fine. How long do I keep the Rooster or the Mean chicken separated for? They had known the chicken I added before, they grew up together. She was tending to a blind chicken I have, in a different living area. When I got some chicks, they can live with the blind chicken, she doesn't attack them. She thinks she is their mom. Anyway the chicken that used to tend to her I had to put in the coop outside, she is the one being attacked. Not severely, but all day long, mostly by one chicken that I think may be a rooster.
     

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