picked-on hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by duckugly, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. duckugly

    duckugly Hatching

    Oct 25, 2010
    My mommy said that I should post...

    Why is my chicken getting picked on? Can anybody help me find out why?

    We have 3 hens (black feather-legged silkie and frizzle cochin bantams and a Rhode Island Red) and a Blue Cochin Bantam Rooster. We picked them up at the feed store, and they didn't tell us that they were all different -- just Bantams and a Rhode Island Red. We have had them from about 4 weeks old and they have all been together. They started laying around July.

    Recently, though, the rooster and the Rhode Island have been picking on the silkie -- pecking at her head when she tries to eat, chasing her off a bit, etc. to the point where she doesn't have her little afro puffed up on her head any more. [​IMG] It just looks sad. She stays with them in the coop fine, but we often find her roosting alone where the others huddle or perch together. When they are out (free range), they will often be close (within several feet), but you more often see her several yards away from the others.

    Where we are in the country (on a 300 acre parcel with lots of woods), when she is chased off and spends a lot of time alone, she is just ripe for the picking on any hungry hawk or coyote.

    Is there any way to stop this? Should we just get a few more silkies for her to flock with? She is a good egg layer and doesn't seem to be sick, and she is very sweet.

  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    I don't have any silkies so can't speak from personal experience, but I know I've read of others that have had the same problem that you're describing. Sometimes mixed flocks work out and other times they don't. It sure sounds like she'd be happier with some friends closer to her size. If you decide to get her a buddy or two please check out some of the threads on quarintine and integration first. Hope someone else who has a mixed LF and bantam flock posts on here soon too.

    Best of luck and [​IMG]
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Hi -- Glad you are here. [​IMG]

    I don't have any good answers for you -- other than I have a similar issue with three of my hens who get along well and two whom they don't like -- so I keep them separate. It started that one was an outcast but then one of the flock made friends with her. So I am very grateful that she at least has a friend. I feel so bad for your little friendless silky. If you do find another silky or two for her do heed Kittymomma's warning about reading up on quarantining the new one to guard against unsuspecting illness transfer.

    Does the frizzle cochin get along with the silky? I'm surprised the rooster is part of these bully tactics -- his job is to thwart that behavior. It sounds like the RIR would be the "odd hen out" so she's found somebody to pick on.

    I wish I had better answers -- seems there are three choices -- find a friend for the silky, re-home the silky or re-home the RIR and hope that the rooster knocks it off.

    Best of luck to you.

    And again -- [​IMG]

  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    That is one of the unfortunate things about chickens--the pecking order. Your poor little silkie is on the bottom. I think she might enjoy a few more of her own kind, and why not? Sounds like you have lots of land......It surely is worth a try!

    Good luck to you!


  5. duckugly

    duckugly Hatching

    Oct 25, 2010
    thx for the help <3 it help's :) love, Morgan McFarland

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