Pecking Order Violence - HELP WANTED

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Naptown Chicks, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Naptown Chicks

    Naptown Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2012
    Indianapolis
    My Coop
    Help, please!

    I have two BPR hens and one light brahma roo. I've just watched them eating and my favorite girl (Phillipa) is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order. (Her comrade in arms, Gertrude, was killed by a neighborhood dog about two months ago.) The other hen, Vera, is best buds with the roo, Alberta (when we named him, we were operating under the assumption that our guaranteed group of pullets were actually all pullets, and it's kind of stuck, but for clarity's sake, we'll go with Albert here). Vera's like Albert's prison b*tch. Albert looks like he couldn't care less who eats when, but as soon as Phillipa gets remotely close to the food, Vera chases her away and Phillipa gets this terrified look. Today, I saw Vera actually bite Phillipa on the head. There has been blood, broken feathers, comb damage, but we assumed it was Albert getting too physical with the mating process. My husband just witnessed a second incident with Vera biting Phillipa so hard that Phillipa screeched! The only time Albert really seems to care about what's going on with Phillipa is when we go near her - I got a nasty bite on my hand from Albert the last time I picked Phillipa up, and he just went after my husband when he was trying to shoo V & P apart with his foot.

    As much as I hate to separate them for warmth's sake, we're putting Phillipa in a crate in the garage so she can convalesce. I'm going to get more hens in the spring, so hopefully that will help, too.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Montana
    Sell the mean one. I had one that wouldn't let some of the others go in the coop so I sold her. It was the best move I made. She is doing fine and not bulling at her new home.
     
  3. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    I did the same- re homed the mean girl, gave her to a farm with a flock of 100, so she blended in and behaved (or was kept in her place) there. That restored peace and tranquility to my little flock.
     
  4. XavCas

    XavCas Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2012
    I would probably sell her; all my hens go around in a circle ( pecking order wise ) so I really don't have that problem, but it would be the right thing to do to benfit her and the rest of your flock.
     
  5. Naptown Chicks

    Naptown Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2012
    Indianapolis
    My Coop
    Will the roo and the single hen be warm enough through the winter?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They should be. Make sure the roost area is free of drafts, and that the humidity can get out of the coop at a high place.

    You can add extra hay to the bedding, so if they're really cold, they can snuggle down into it. Some people set a square bale of hay or two on the outside of the coop, up against the wall, to help insulate.
     
  7. Naptown Chicks

    Naptown Chicks Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Apr 1, 2012
    Indianapolis
    My Coop

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