Pecking the new girls

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jocelyne1967, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. jocelyne1967

    jocelyne1967 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2013
    I had two chickens. A Coronation Sussex and a Black Orpington (i really thing she is a Black Australop and the gorl said she was an Orpington because she knew that is what I was looking for), Regardless, I just add two younger chickens, just starting to lay. (Black Australop and Buff Orpington.

    The two new girls are lovely and never skipped a beat laying ever when they moved from their old spot to mine. Problem is the Sussex who has always been a lovely girl has turned into the meanest girl! She picks on the Buff a lot. She will run across the yard to chase her, she will peck her and grab onto feathers and not let go! She is not showing a nice side. I have only had the new girls for 4 days. What are your thoughts. Are they just working out the pecking order? If so, how long do you think it will take? There are 4 chickens in a 13X13 run and a separate hen house so I do not think it is a space issue
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Some chickens, not all, when new members to the flock are introduced can turn really really mean...why, who knows, but they do. If this behavior cannot be eliminated, then it's time for that bird to be eliminated....
  3. Introducing new hens always causes friction. There is a reason it is called a pecking order. But yes, sometime a hen is just plain mean to the newbies. 4 days isn't very long, if not too many feathers are being lost and no one is bleeding it will probably be ok. Keep an eye that the new ones are getting a chance to eat and drink. Distract the older hens with treats and interesting food to scratch at like bunches of grass, broccoli, watermelon peel. If the hen continues to be mean remove her to a small cage or box for a day or two (always take out the attacker not the victim) then when you put her back she will be the newcomer and hopefully less confident. If you don't have some where separate to keep her, even just half an hour in cardboard box (in the shade) when she is being especially aggressive might calm things down.
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