Picking and Isolation

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by truchicks, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. truchicks

    truchicks Chirping

    May 15, 2016
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have my first chicks. Four 8 week old chickens, BA, SF, LO, SS. My 8 week old Black Australorp is picking my Salmon Favorelle's back until it was bloody. I separated the SF for 1 night to give her a rest and then I sprayed Scarlex on her back and put no-pick cover up lotion on her so she could be with the other 2. I then, isolated the bully and she has been away from them for 5 days. This morning they were reunited and all seemed to be going well. The SF and BA did a few chest bumps and stared each other down and the SF would back down. I figured that was all healthy pecking order behavior. About a couple hours of watching, BA started picking SF's back again. I immediately put BA in crate but this time I left crate in their yard so she could be with them but not bully. Am I handling this right? I want them to work it out but I don't really know what I am doing since these are my first chickens. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    I don't know if this will shed any light but here is a short video of BA picking.


  2. Your BA may just be a meanie. I would put him in a cage for a few days and then reintroduce him at night while everyone is asleep. I had a really mean little cochin/brahma mix and this only worked for a day or so. He/she was just plain mean until I started letting it free-range. I think the confinement was too hard on it. The man who sold me the chick said the daddy chicken was really mean to his 3-year old son so I will keep an eye on it for the next few months. It may have to be culled. Some chickens are just mean. I've never had BA before but some breeds are just more aggressive or passive. If they are chest bumping you probably have a couple of roosters which adds to the rub. I've never seen my pullets chest bump but I guess they could if they have a aggressive nature.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That looks pretty normal to me......as long as there's no copious blood being drawn and no one is getting pinned down and unmercilessly beaten, just let them work it out.

    Bleeding pin feathers can make it worse, then you might need to isolate the bully or the injured, 'using a crate right in the run is the best way to isolate for 'time outs'. A squirt gun on the bully can help too if you have time to do that.

    Putting some distractions and hiding places in the run can really help.....
    ....roosts, pallets leaned up against wall or up on concrete blocks, old chairs, tables, stumps, logs.
    Anything to hide behind(without creating a dead end trap) or places to get up and away from aggressors.
  4. Nannie B

    Nannie B In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2016
    I got a year old rooster and 6 hens, all between 1 & 2 yrs old. They have been raised together since hatching. I put them in with the 4 hens I already had, they are about 9 mos old. I know that there will be some pecking order stuff going on however the 4 hens I had first won't come out of the coop. I noticed that when the rooster trys to breed them it riles up the other hens and they start fighting them. Should I intervene? I did put a little water up in the coop with the 4hens because it is so hot here I'm afraid they will dehydrate. Thanks for any advise!

  5. Nannie B

    Nannie B In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2016
    Oh my, I just realized I should have started a new thread. Sorry! I'm still getting used to BYC posts, lol!

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