Roosting and the Pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LeghornGuy, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy Out Of The Brooder

    82
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    39
    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    I have 12 hens and a rooster in a pen.
    They are all the same age (one year and five months.)
    I have several roosting rods.
    Two of the rods are on the same level/ height.
    I noticed the chickens will peck each other for position on the two heightest rods. There is more than enough rod for all the chickens to roost on one rod. The chickens do not sleep or roost on the same rod. Although the rooster is the dominant bird in the coop, he often cuddles with one of the hens.

    Should I add another "roosting rod to make it three rods at the same height?

    I have four older hens that I keep in a separate cage. when I add them to the main run, they run off all the younger ladies. I have decided to keep the "Golden Girls" in a separate coop. The Golden Girls get to free range and go into their coop at will.
    They are the original four hen that I have raised three years from baby chickens.
    I would like to have all my chickens in one large main coop/run.

    How do I get them to live peacefully together?
     
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    No matter how many roosts (or nesting boxes, or feeders, or waterers) you have, they will always fight over the favorite one. Chickens are funny like that. I wouldn't bother to change anything unless they are hurting each other in the tussles.
    The only way to blend younger and older hens is to put them in proximity so they can see each other and get used to each other's presence. Then, you just have to put them together, and harden your heart a little, because the dominant ones will beat up the others to establish the pecking order. I've always found that the less I mess with this process, the quicker it takes, so I try to stay out of it unless someone is really getting hurt. If possible, I do it when they are free ranging, or in a big pen, so the weaker ones can get away more easily. After a couple of days they should have things worked out and scuffles should be minimal.
     
  3. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy Out Of The Brooder

    82
    0
    39
    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thanks.
    I just feel bad for the younger girls being chased all over the yard. One of the older hens -"Golden Girls" just seems mean spirited.

    Good luck with your flock
    the Leghorn guy
     

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