Pecking order or bullying?!


Jun 30, 2021
So I got 2 laying hens one is a bit older than the other from the looks of it andwe don’t know the age or breed all I know is that we got her from a feed store and they were already laying She was only kept with hens when I bought them the roosters were in a different thing but last night I noticed hen 1 pecking hen 2 on the neck repeatedly right where her neck bald spot was so I put them in opposite corners of the coop and since it was night I figured they would be good because there it was dark and they couldn’t see but this morning I checked the floor and it was covered with half broken feathers and hen 2s comb was bleeding a tiny dot of blood!! Is this normal because of the pecking order? They were together when I got her and I thought she was bald because of the roosters but now I think it’s might have been the hens. Any help would be appreciated!


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Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Did you just add these new birds right into the existing flock?

Here's some tips about......
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:

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