Pecking Order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Briyon, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Briyon

    Briyon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    Richmond, VT
    I have 5 Buff Orpingtons and 5 Auaracanas. There is one of the Buff Orpintons that has been picked on from a very early age. She is blind in one eye and I think (but I am not sure) that this was the result of the other chickens picking on her. Now all of them are ~21 weeks old and she is still intimidated by the other chickens. When the other girls go outside during the day...she stays in the coop. Tonight she was standing in the chicken door because all of the others were in the coop. She finally found some refuge in one of the nest boxes. Is there anything that can be done about this?


  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I'm interested to hear replies to this question because I'm dealing with a similar issue.
  3. trinacliff

    trinacliff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    I, too, am concerned about one pullet picking on the other. I just got them today, and I thought it was because they were all in the same box and just sick of being in such tight quarters. However, after seperating them for a bit today to give them more room, even this evening the one always pecks the other and kind of holds on. They are both about 10 months old. I only have the two, so what should I do about this? Get two more? LOL good excuse, right?!?


  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My half blind hen was picked on as a chick and I did have to resort to using pine tar once to put a stop to the pecking. I also have a loner hen. She's been a loner her whole life.
    I put my half blind hen on the roost at night, because she can't see to get up there by herself. I always set her next to my roo, cuz she's his favorite and he won't allow any picking on her. She's a scrappy little thing and has gotten more assertive as she's gotten older, so nobody really messes with her all that much.
    My loner does her own thing. If she wants to hang out in the coop all day, I let her. If she wants to be out with the others, I let her do that. She is the only one that I allow to sleep on the boards between the nestboxes, where she's not picked on by the others at night.
    I free range and that helps because there's always some place for a picked on one to retreat to. I try to interfere as little as possible in their pecking order issues, because most of the time they do work it out. In confinement it's not so easy. If it were me, I would focus on removing the one doing the most pecking - the pecker, not the peckee. A couple days in chicken jail can really knock them down a peg on the pecking order ladder.

    Obviously if there is blood being drawn, the injured one needs to be seperated until healed, for their own safety.

    I'm sorry I don't have more helpful hints to offer.

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