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Pecking order?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farmgirl2004, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. farmgirl2004

    farmgirl2004 New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2015
    I only have two chickens as two of them died when they were young, all has been fine but with in the last month one of them has been going after the other. To the point where all we see is white feathers our leghorn is on the loosing end of the fight. They seem to only be fighting during the day. Yesterday we noticed that the leghorn had her tail feathers plucked out. We are not really set up to separate them but we do not know what to do. Would it help to get a few more, also they have both stopped laying eggs. The leghorn was going thru a brooding faze to the point where she was not eating so we took the box out . I just do not know what to do I do not want the other one to kill her.
    Any suggestions
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    How much space do your birds have?

    Are you sure they're both female?
     
  3. farmgirl2004

    farmgirl2004 New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2015
    Yes they are both girls they were both laying at one point. it is not a huge space but at one point we had four birds in the coop and never had this issue.. so that is what is so confusing.it is big enough for four roosting boxes. at one point it was a goat cage.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    How old are they?
    What are you feeding them?
     
  5. farmgirl2004

    farmgirl2004 New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2015
    They have just started laying eggs so I am guessing six or seven months and we are feeding them adult layena adult chicken food and scratch and we let them out to free feed every day so they get hours of free running around. we give them oyster shells and grit as well and a few scraps from the house . we never had this trouble with our other chickens maybe we need a few more
     
  6. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you sure they're not molting? They loose feathers and can get pretty cranky during the molt.
     
  7. farmgirl2004

    farmgirl2004 New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2015
    I am positive she is not molting she has already done that, and we have seen the bantam is the aggressive one and starts most of the fights the leghorn Lacey does fight back but not a lot.
    She is looking worse than when she was molting.
     
  8. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    How long ago did she molt and was it a full molt? I had a girl molt, then about 2 months later she up and finished molting. I've also noticed that sometimes (especially when it's a hard molt) that the other hens will sometimes get a bit aggressive with the one molting-like they sense the one that's molting is in a weakened state. If it's full-on attacks like that the only thing you can really do is separate them. You say your coop is big enough for 4 roost boxes, but how much room for roaming do the girls have? Just because you had 4 birds in there doesn't mean it was really big enough for 4 birds. No insult intended here, just looking at possible problems.

    If the leghorn was broody and not eating, she may still be thin and weak, which again is something that tends to trigger aggression in the other birds. Is the leghorn in good weight? Healthy?(other than being pecked bald, that is).
     
  9. farmgirl2004

    farmgirl2004 New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2015
    Yeah I am not sure - she molted a few months ago and looked great I believe it was a full molt . she is healthy and is eating and not weak she does fight back some , the strange thing is before she went broody she was the strong one always taking the treats and then she went broody and is now getting her butt kicked. I think they could use more room but it is just not possible right now financially and my husband is in school I cannot even get him to fix stuff around the house let alone build a bigger coop - we let them out the moment we come home and they run around for hours but they still go at it . I think they need to have a few more so they can even it out and are not just with each other Esther is just a jerk. We have a opossum problem so leaving them out during the day is not an option I do not want them to be killed. Plus the owls that got our last chickens it was no good coming home to that. :(
    Lacey looks pretty good she is a good weight she is still getting her weight back up from when she was not eating but Ester is bigger.
     

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