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pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by got2luvchickns, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. got2luvchickns

    got2luvchickns Hatching

    Jun 25, 2010
    we have 7 rhode island red hens.. they are over a year old. they were purchased together and raised from peeps. early this summer we have had problems with 2 beating up on one. picking and plucking out feathers. so we separated her from the rest.. she has her own area to sleep and free ranges in the yard. the others are in a coop and have a yard that we let them out of atleast once a day for a few hours to free range. they don't pick on her when they are all out together. we have tried putting her back in the coop but the same thing happens... 2 attack her and she hides her head under her wing and makes a high pitched sound. we let her out and she is ok. This hen will stand up to our jack russel/mix terrier with no problems... but she won't fight back against the hens that pick on her. our concern is for the winter.. she would be much better off in the coop with the others for warmth...Is it true that other hens will attack until they kill? would appreciate any information you have on this.

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You will either need to reintroduce her with one or more hens or sell her because obviously the pecking order has been set.
  3. bakerjw

    bakerjw Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    This would probably be better in the behavior sub forum.

    Some people will pull out a more dominant hen for a while and let the order reestablish itself. After a week or so out of the run Bossy Bessy probably will have to start at the bottom.

    I have a mutt hen named Black Betty who was high on the order in the Spring. She went broody on me and when it finally broke she came out smack dab at the bottom of the order. A few weeks ago I had a hen get sick and die on me and now Betty is back up in the order and not picked on any more.

    Chicken politics are a strange thing.
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    I see some one beat me to this. My thought is also to isolate the bully.

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