Pullets keep pecking each other!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alaskan_crew, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Songster

    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    I recently purchased 3 pullets from a small poultry farmer (he had maybe 75 or so chickens and other poultry mixed together). When we brought them home we noticed that they were pecking at each other. We thought that maybe they were just nervous but it's been 3 weeks and they are still pecking away at one another.

    Why do they do this and how can I make it stop?
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    How much space do they have? How old are they? What breed? Maybe it is a nutritional deficiancy? What are they eating? These answers might help.
  3. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Songster

    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Thanks for your response!

    I was told that they were born in early March. They are Golden Comets and I'm feeding them a layer pellet (also, I feed them some veggie scraps, dandelions and other garden weeds...even some crused egg shells).
    My husband said that there were more the 150 other chickens where we bought them from and that they already had peck marks/wounds on their backs when we brought them home.
    I'm starting to believe that this behavior was "taught" at the poultry farm. Can they be retrained to not peck, is this a form of aggression? BTW, I believe we have around a hundred sq feet of space for the girls.
    Once again, thank you for any input/help/advice as I am new to all of this! Also, does anyone know if I let my chickens roam free for a bit, will they run off/fly away?
  4. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Keep them in their coop for about a week. Then when you let them out, they should know where home is and not go far from it and return to the coop come dusk. At least that is what I have read on here.

    I just got some new ones and on Saturday, they get to come out for the first time. I sure hope they know the rules and play fair. I don't want to be hunting them down for sure.

    edited to add: I must have gotten my posts mixed up. what I wrote earlier makes no sense in this conversation. Sorry.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Your girls were part of a large flock. They are now THE flock. Hard to say where your girls were in their original flock. But anytime the flock dynamics are changed, they will determine a new pecking order. This could be what your girls are all about.
  6. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    Quote:Hatched in early March, are they laying yet? Be careful with the layer pellets (very high calcium levels) if they not laying. Especially since your giving them crushed egg shells, also. I'm not sure what the symptoms of calcium toxicity are but that may be contributing to your problem.
  7. cheapcheap_jeepjeep

    cheapcheap_jeepjeep Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Villa Grove

    Correct of I am wrong but theyare about 3 months old. So about 12 Weeks. They really are not old enough for layers feed yet. they should still be on started / grower feed. but that is my opinion.

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