Pecking Order Issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by enggass, May 15, 2011.

  1. enggass

    enggass Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Ok. Out of no where my once mild mannered BR has become a bully picking on one of my RIRs... She chases and pecks her whenever she gets near to the point where the RIR does not really want to come out of the coop. The pecking has caused some harm to the top of the head right behind the comb - missing feathers and some bleeding. How do I change this behavior? Right now I have let the bully out to free-range ALONE! There is peace in the coop when she is out. Help?????

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You can alter the pecking order by removing the bully for a few days, keeping her away from the others, then returning her. Often this will result in the former bully being reduced in pecking order, "put in her place", and things may calm down. But do it soon before she establishes her bully persona.

    A warning - this can affect a chicken's personality. I had an older hen who bullied the current crop of pullets when they needed to come in to roost at night. I would place Betty in an adjacent, sectioned-off compartment to sleep at night so the pullets would have peace. But after a while, Betty became shy and withdrawn and mistrustful of me where she wasn't before. I don't know if it's just coincidental, but I do believe that singling chickens out like that can have a distinct effect on them, maybe not always for the good.

    You happen to have two breeds that are noted for aggression, so best of luck to you!
  3. flowerhippie

    flowerhippie In the Brooder

    May 13, 2011
    some times a hen will start to require salt and calcium in her diet, and will be pecking because the only source for salt or calcium is other chickens in your yard. It may be just a supplement that she is lacking, When I see any pecking I give oyster shell. cannibalism is because of 2 things too much white light and or needs a mineral to curb the craving. There are also blocks that you can put in your yard that will give the extra vitamins that will help to curb this with your flock. I hope she stops this naughty behavior soon.

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