Picking, pecking, and my mixed flock.

FoxholeFarm

Chirping
5 Years
Aug 7, 2014
475
23
88
Berkeley, CA
I keep a mixed flock of bantams and standards. Right now it's 8 bantams and 4 standards. The four big girls have seniority here and are picking on my new little ones something fierce. In particular, I have a black Orpington who is at the bottom of the order among the big girls who is actually chasing and drawing blood on my bantam pullets and hens. I'm afraid she is going to do some irreparable harm at some point!

The one that I believe is the top hen is mostly disinterested in them but she is pulling the beard and muff off of my other ameraucana. I originally though it was lice, but I treated for those a month ago and just saw that she calmly stood there while her clutch mate pulled feathers out of her neck.

My oldest hen who remains comfortably in the middle of the standard size hen order is curious about the little ones but has shown to aggression at all.

Can someone help my understand what's going on, and whether I can stop the bloodletting in my coop and run? Right now we have been crating the Orpington where she can see everyone but not attack if we aren't in the run to mediate.

I also have a thread for people bantam and mixed flocks in the SF east bay here.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
579
448
South Georgia

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,977
125,536
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Chickens are mean...I watched my flock, all large fowl, go to roost last night and the pecking and shuffling and place swapping was unbelievable.

Integrated a month ago and it went pretty well, no blood shed, just the usual bullying here and there but nothing extreme....they had separate roosts but now the youngers want to use the bigger roosts. The olders and the youngers peck at each other and the other group....the main combatants seem to change rank daily. The olders have become enamored of the young roo and some nights won't let the youngers roost with him.

If there were bloodshed I would sequester the blood letter, maybe with an flock mate, for a week or so....then reintroduce and watch the circus begin again.
 

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