Pullet behavior managment

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jangrace, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. jangrace

    jangrace Out Of The Brooder

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    The aggressive one is a 6 wk old RI Red. Nice when she is by herself, but pecks to bleeding all the others (who are 2 weeks younger) when they are all together. I now have them all in one 4ft square enclosure with a mesh divider down the middle. The other 3 pullets ( another RI Red, a barred rock and a white rock) all get along fine, but I have to keep the older one separate. How can I successfully reintegrate all of them in 2 weeks when they all go outside to the coop and pen? I appreciate any advice I can get as I am new at this and trying to learn as much as I can. And, I LOVE raising chickens! Thank you!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    You need to nip this in the bud before it gets any worse and ends in a blood bath. And pecking is contagious and you don't want the others learning the same bad behavior. So what I suggest is that you separate the aggressor for 2 full weeks. Keep this one where she can see the others and the others can see her. What this will do is possibly lower her statis in the group, it may allow others to gain a higher stance in the group and if nothing else, the aggressor will be so miserable she will have lost this habit of pecking at the others.

    Do it now before it escalates out of control. Her behavior could move to you next. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. jangrace

    jangrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you!! Actually it has already been 2 weeks. 4 days ago I tried putting them back together again and the aggressive RI Red immediately pecked a large vascular tail feather coming in on the white plymouth rock, which then caused all the others to peck at it too, I guess out of curiosity or thinking it was food? I separated the aggressor immediately and then painted on some of this stuff called Pick No More, sold at Oakdale Feed and Seed and used by chicken ranchers in the CA central valley. That stopped the others from pecking the white rock and those three get a long fine. But, I still have the problem of not being able to reintegrate the older RI Red. Should I wait another 2 weeks and try again? [​IMG]

    2 RI Reds, 1 Barred Rock, 1 White Rock.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Other than separation, it is impossible to train chickens not to be aggressive. You could try it again, or even consider rehomeing this bird.

    It may be that this bird feels too cramped in. Birds get cannibalistic when they don't have enough room. And if it is too warm for them, they will also act very aggressive. I have had trouble in the brooding area with too much warmth and not enough space. So I would get them outside as soon as possible. Make sure you give them something to do in their area. Put in branches to climb on, take a cereal box and cut one of the larger sides off so the birds can get in and put some cut grass or grass hay in there for them do have something to do. Throw in some dirt., etc.. I have found that at this age, they really need to have their own space. Too big for a brooder. Get them outside as quick as you can. Atleast give them "day time field trips" outside to occupy their boredom.

    I kick mine out at 5 weeks as they are already too big to be in my living room!!!

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  5. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry that you are having so much trouble. I'd try one last time to seperate the aggressive girl from the others. Isolate her for 2 weeks out of sight (give her a feather duster so she won't get lonely).

    Keeping her completely away from and out of sight of the others will make her lose her pecking order status completely. Once you re-intergrate her, she should be a stranger who gets put into her place with a bit of pecking and chasing.

    However, if even this does not work, I'd cull her. Nobody needs a nasty vicious animal in their lives.
     
  6. jangrace

    jangrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks all for your good suggestions. I will try them.[​IMG] If I do have to get rid of the aggressive chicken, where do I take her? There are no livestock auctions around here. One more question - what if I waited another week then painted the backsides of the three contented birds with the Pick No More solution, then tried putting the more aggressive one back in? Would that make a diference, or would she just find another way to be aggressive. ?
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    If she is mean, than she is mean. She could take out eyes if she wanted to.

    If you have to rehome her, do you have any feed stores around you? You could try asking there or posting an ad. Craigslist in your area might work. You could even go into the forum section of "where am I where are you" and find your state. Maybe ask around there.

    I am sorry you are having so much trouble with one of them. Chickens do have different personalities and sometimes you get a cranky bird. I would try what the last poster told you, to completely isolate her. All alone. It will most likely pipe her down considerably.

    Good luck with your bird.
     
  8. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens who peck to make others bleed will continue to do it even if they've been put in 'time out'. You need to trim her beak - use toenail clippers, and clip ONLY the tip end of her top beak. Don't clip too much, or it will bleed. When looking straight on to her face, you should see a little rounded spot on her upper trimmed beak. This allows feathers to slide through her beak, and will discourage her from pecking, as she can't quite grip like she used to. I used this method, and it works. The beak will grow back, so if pecking starts up again, clip it again. It's painless, unless you draw blood!
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:You've tried some good things, but try more space. 6 weeks old, in that small of space is likely helping drive her wacko. Chicks of that age need lots and lots of space to explore, jump, fly, run, peck, etc. She may indeed end up being just a bugger, but I'd tried lots more space, with much more of interest to occupy her attention before giving up on her.
     
  10. jangrace

    jangrace Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
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    Ok. Looks like I will be building a T-Post chicken wire enclosure sooner than I expected. The area I have is 15 x 18 ft. I would like to keep trying with this chicken and not give up on her if I can. My brother is planning on building me a coop, but it sounds like I may need one sooner than he is able to come down and build it for me. Anyone have any good websites for where I can order an "assemble it yourself coop" for 4 chickens?[​IMG] Thank you!
     

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