pecking order or abuse???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by My Urban Chicks, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. My Urban Chicks

    My Urban Chicks New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Forney, TX
    We acquired three two year old Cochin bantam's on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon we brought home one 4 month old (?) Silkie bantam. Our thinking was that since they were all new to OUR coop, it would be okay. Well....it's been a week now and my poor Silkie (Sophie) is pecked on when she tries to eat. She's pecked on for being in the 'wrong spot' and occasionally chased around the coop. When it's time for bed, the older girls go upstairs and she stays downstairs. The first few evenings I would pick her up and place her in the hen house. After I close the door I can hear her being pecked. The past few evenings I put her closer to the top of the ladder and she goes in by herself, and then she's pecked. In the mornings, I go out there and she's still upstairs. Sometimes there is a Cochin with her, but not always. I open the door and let them down. The past few mornings I put her on the ladder and make her come down the ladder herself. Last night I peeked through the window and one Cochin was trying to protect her while another was pecking at her. I don't know what to do now. She's too big (I think) to go in with the little ones, ranging in age from 2 weeks to about 6 weeks, which we got Sunday. Please tell me what I should do, or not do. Is this normal pecking order?

    Thank you for your help and advise!

    Kristie

    ...my daughter just checked on the girls and everyone, including Sophie, is upstairs.
     
  2. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Is there only one chicken picking on her, or are all of them picking on her? If there's only one picking on her, I would isolate that one chicken from the flock. If they're all picking on her, I would separate her. I have a hen that was picking on all the hens. Four of my older hens that I've had for three years before this one, got so they quit laying, and wouldn't hardly come out of their coop because of her. They would huddle back in the corner. I didn't want to cull her because she's an excellent layer, so luckily I had the room to separate her from the others with her own little coop and run. Everyone is happy now.
     
  3. My Urban Chicks

    My Urban Chicks New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Forney, TX
    Thanks for replying...

    My black Cochin, Lily, picks/pecks on her quite a bit. Another Cochin, Dixie, who we thought was the #1 bully, picks on her but not as much as Lily. The third Cochin, Tula, will peck at her occasionally, usually when the treats are out .Tula is also the one that was protecting her last night from Lily in the hen house. Dixie was sitting next to her, but not bothering her at that time, just Lily.
    We let them free range a few hours every day giving them fruit and veggies most evenings. Sophie usually avoids the area where Lily is, but all four of them where laying in the flower bed today, Sophie on one side alone, and the others laying together on the other side.

    How long should I separate them? Should I take Sophie or Lily out?
    And what about the hen house at night? I can't figure out how to divide so they have separate run and hen house....
     

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