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Pecking Order??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Momma on a Mission, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Momma on a Mission

    Momma on a Mission Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Seymour, IN
    I have 1 BO that is getting pecked on by the other hens. I had confined her for a week to let the first injury heal on her beak and I go out this morning to check on her and there is another spot on her comb. The other hens are fine. No injuries. So my question is, why are they picking at this one only?
     
  2. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Clackamas, Oregon
    It's just what they do to the hen at the bottom of the order, and there isn't much we can do beyond making sure they have adequate space, and enough food and water. If it is really bad, and/or if there is one bully hen in particular, you can isolate the bully to take her out of the equation and see how things settle. When you reintroduce her, another hen might have taken over the top spot and might not be as ruthless. More than likely, she'll just bully her way back to the top again, tho. And unfortunately, taking the injured one out (which I understand you had to do) only reaffirms her place at the bottom.

    Having a rooster can also help settle the hens, as they generally defer to the rooster as the top of the order and the roo can help settle disputes.

    Injuries notwithstanding, I've had to remind myself that this is normal chicken behavior and that I shouldn't personalize it. It's hard, though.
     
  3. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Just make sure to get the one being picked on out of there quick if you see blood on her. It is like a homing beacon for the others to start in.

    Like heatherkh said, this is normal chicken behavior! and although difficult to witness it is harder to control. Instinct is such a powerful force.

    As long as there is definitely enough space for them to run around, you may want to try some toys in the run or hanging some flock blocks far apart to see if that helps. Other than driving yourself crazy, that is about all I believe you can do. A little free ranging may take also do something to help. The problem is there is lots of instinct working against few solutions. Sorry.
     

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