Picking on Each Other?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ShoshoneAZ, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. ShoshoneAZ

    ShoshoneAZ Hatching

    Jun 20, 2011
    Lately I've noticed my five chickens picking on each other.. mostly on my Rhode Island Red, who, I'm guessing to escape it all, stays in the coop all day (which could be an entirely different matter). Could the summer heat have anything to do with it? Usually my red chicken is the boss, but when ever she comes out of the coop, she is always on gaurd, puffed up, and quietly sqwauking, and the other chickens are ready to peck. So far no injuries, usually happens when she tries to eat, drink, roost, or pretty much whenever she goes by the other chickens. She's lost a bit of weight, but she looks ok. I'm starting to take her out of the coop every day for a good hour and hand feed her vegetables, water, and grain to make sure she gets some food down her. There are three different breeds in my coop, I have two black sex-links, two buff orpingtons, and the one rhode island red. I'm not sure if that could be the cause of anything, especially since they have been together since they were chicks. They are all relatively a year and a half old. As far as their living arrangements go, they have a six nest, two story coop (but they all seem to want the same nest at the same time), with an attached run that they go in whenever they want, usually all day. I let them outside of the run/coop for a good hour or so everyday. Do you think if I let them out longer it will ease some of the tension? Any ideas, suggestions, or anything would help as to why they are suddenly so ticked at each other and how I can stop it, because I really don't want any injuries:)

  2. lburress

    lburress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2011
    Maybe they're hungry. Or maybe the heat?
  3. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chirping

    Jun 11, 2011
    I had a coop with attached run, but just didn't feel like it provided enough space for my hens ... so built additional run (pic on my BYC page). If this isn't the problem or expanding isn't a possibility, provide some diversion. Boredom can cause pecking to escalate. Purchase some large suet feeders (for wild birds), stuff 'em with cabbage leaves & hang 'em a couple places in the run. You can also buy "pecker wrecker" blocks of compressed seed/scratch that helps provide some stimulation. Hope it helps!
  4. opalwednesday

    opalwednesday Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    maybe the heat is making everyone cranky, or maybe they can tell who's the odd chicken. I have a naked neck turken who I had to separate from the flock because some of the reds started picking a hole in her neck [​IMG]

  5. 1t3nails4u

    1t3nails4u Hatching

    May 4, 2011
    I'm noticing changes in my rooster at 10 weeks. Tonight he put a hen in her place by grabbing the back of her neck and fussing at her. when he let her up she went to the other side of the run. First time I've seen this activity toward each other. I know he is getting agressive.


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