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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pretty-Poultry, Jan 5, 2013.
Have any of your chickens had pecking order troubles? I want to hear how you sorted it
I only have a small flock, 5 Americanas, and I dont have many pecking order problems. But once in a while, someone gets pecked on, and they only thing I do is give more attention to the girl getting pecked on.
Oh okay, I had two different lots of chickens, but when they got a bit older we had to put them together. The main ones picking on the younger ones were my wyandottes and whenever they were being mean I would make a loud sound and they would get distracted they all get along now, but soon I need to introduce more little ones to all the rest.
We raised two groups of chicks (separate brooders) together - 3 standard hens, 4 bantams (2 roos/2 hens). They got along very well. -ran around in the yard with no issues. We purchased 4 more standard hens when the first group was about 5/6 months old. About a month later, we rehomed our roos (due to crowing complaints). We had separate coops for each little flock. After rehoming the roos, we felt it best to construct a large run (because of hawks in the area) and open the coops into it. Initially, the 2 bantam hens chased the 4 "new" standard hens and pecked at them quite a bit. -had to keep an eye on them. When, however, the last 4 reached about 5 months old, they began chasing and pecking the bantams. -and, at that point my 3 gals that were originally raised with the bantams began joining in on the pecking. Oh well, we decided to separate the 2 little bantams by sectioning off part of the run for them. All of the chickens roamed the lawn just fine together (always allowed them several supervised hours on the entire lawn each day). The 7 standards and 2 bantams didn't work out too well in the 300 sq. ft. of run space.....
Now, we're contemplating how to accommodate everyone as we are planning on constructing one large coop and a nice permanent run for the whole group. -reckon we'll have to be creative with the construction plans with consideration for our bantams. -don't see any end to the pecking issue.
My wyandottes seem to be kind of mean too. One think I do is take them out for a day or two- when she returns she gets brung down a couple notches because they forgot she was mean. This is not for major issues, though. I did it once, and I will try to find a more permanant solution if it continues. For combing two flocks, make sure the other chicks are old enough to stand up for themselves. For starters, the best thing is to have them SEE each other, but not able to GET to each other. Do this as long as you can, 1-2 months at best. At night, sneak the other chickens onto the roost, when the others are sleeping. This works better for a smaller number of birds.
Also, here is a very helpful article by buff hooligans. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
Would the sneaking at night idea work for 4 point of lay chooks and 5 that are1 month younger against 5 2 month olds?
It's 9 about-the-same-age chicks and 5 2 month old chicks?
no that won't work, and in fact might get bloody. Way too big a difference in size.
The only way that I have found to have young chicks less than 5 months old in with older hens, is if they were raised there with a broody hen. The broody hen protects them for about 4 weeks, and then all are used to each other, but even so the younger ones doe get some awful thumps. It is very important not to have an empty run, there needs to be be multiple roosts in the run, boxes, and branches, and areas where birds can get away from each other and out of sight of each other.
Another way to make it worse is if they are the least bit crowded, and if you add 9 more chickens, it is going to seem considerably more crowded than it did before you add them.
There are some ways to bend the rules so to speak.
Best way - add more than one chicken, 3-4 are better, same size. Even the same size chicken if you add just one, well everyone else picks on her, if you add more, it spreads the picking out, and usually one of two of them will get their licks in, and that backs them down.
Another trick is to add slightly more than the home turf gang. The home gang has an advantage, but a bigger group also has an advantage and that kind of evens it out.
If you are adding older and younger hens together, it is better if the younger ones have the home field advantage, but they still need to be close to same size.
Having a roo helps too, but only if the hens are close to the same size.
I have heard the whole fence between them, but it is hard to set up for me.
A bit of luck helps too ;-)
This is all fabulous advice. X2