Pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Percysmom, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chirping

    Aug 21, 2011
    My Coop
    I have one pet chicken and decided to get another to keep her company. Percy is a 5 month old pullet. I got a 7 month old pullet of the same breed. They are Rhode Island Reds. The bigger one keeps chasing and pecking the little one and keeping her from the food. I seperated them for 3 or 4 days and put them back together. It was good for a day or two then started up again. I am afraid the older one is pulling out her feathers. What should I do. I currently have seperated them again
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd keep them separate for about a month, myself, but where they could see and hear each other. Then turn them loose in a large area. I'd probably put out two feeders and waterers then, at least for a while. You could just use a couple of old bowls or similar and see how it went.
  3. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chirping

    Aug 21, 2011
    My Coop
    I did get them seperate feeders and water bottles but I only have one coop so I put a small container in the cage with the mean chicken so she had a place to sleep at night.They can see each other too. I let them out to eat grass awhile today and the bigger one(Petunia) chased Percy again. I will wait about a month like you said. I want them both in the coop by winter so they will be warm.
  4. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

    Jul 11, 2009
    I wouldnt keep seperating them as it starts the pecking order over again. The pecking order is natural. As long as there isnt bloodshed dont interfere and let them figure it out for themselves. Yeah you can seperate them with wiremesh or what not but when they are finally in the same space together they will still have to establish that pecking order. It only takes a few days get it over with.
  5. Quote:Excellent advice! They will be fine! [​IMG]
  6. atomic_chicken

    atomic_chicken In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2011
    B.C. Canada
    Quote:I also agree with the above

    I introduced a new bird into my flock recently and within 4 days they were
    all roosting , sleeping and eating together without a problem.

    I think chickens are always trying to establish an order.
  7. ChickenGirl165

    ChickenGirl165 Songster

    Sep 7, 2011
    This has happened to me too. The pecking order is such a terrible thing to watch. Buttercup, the top of the pecking order pecks everyone to leave it alone while eating and sometimes she pecks them because she is bored. If you are worried about the food, you could put another food tray out or feed it yourself (if you have time that is). However, i did not seperate my chickens (because i have nowhere to put the other one) lol. If you see any blood, that is when you really should remove them but they should get used to each other soon! GL [​IMG]
  8. Crippledturkey

    Crippledturkey Chirping

    Aug 26, 2011
    Poplar Bluff, Mo
    I would not seperate them either, even in an established pecking order they will chase and try to peck at one another, and if they draw blood or it gets too violent, the one being pecked can be sick. It is actually kinda funny watching them once you get used to the little squabbles and realize it is normal.
  9. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chirping

    Aug 21, 2011
    My Coop
    As of now Petunia is still in a dog crate up against Percys run where they can see each other. I always let them out to free range for about an hour each evening. Petunia was chasing her around again and she had to hide in the flower bed. I was worried about the food because I rescued Percy from people who weren't feeding her and I don't want her to have to go without food again.I used to sneak next door and give her veggies from our garden and water to keep her alive. I finally asked if I could have her. I did buy seperate waterers and put out seperate food but Petunia kept running back and forth and keeping Percy from both dishes.So I am trying to let them have time together outside the cages and then put them separate while I am working during the day.
  10. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    RIR at 5 and 7 months, aren't they about the same size and laying? They are at an age that integration should not be tough. Chickens are social, flock animals. They want and do better with company. Keeping them apart is counter intuitive to chicken’s nature. I would suggest “stranger in the night” strategy and in the morning they will sort out the pecking order. Jousting and chasing are normal, as long as it is not one standing on the other and pecking away.

    Chickens do not feed all the time, so the dominant one will eventually step away from food and drink and the other will help herself.

    That is just the way of the chickens. Going against their nature would just create grief for yourself, wondering why they don’t behave the way YOU think they should.

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