Separate pecked chickens or the ones pecking?


6 Years
Aug 11, 2013
Middlesex County, Massachusetts
HI, I'm new to the group, but have been reading posts like crazy! I have two ten week old Americauna's that are being bullied by two ten week old (same original group) Gold Laced Wyandottes. Twelve chickens in all, six are ten weeks old, six are eight weeks old. Coop is enclosed and 6ft by 8ft, with two long roosts, one higher than the other. Have seven nesting boxes. Coop attached to a 10ft by 6ft run with two roosts inside. Feed and waterers are outside in the run. Chicken door stays open till night, then they all go in and door is shut till morning. Two windows in the coop, on either side of the door.
For the past two weeks, the pecked birds have been losing their tail feathers, only two on each left. The broken quills are sometimes bloody. I've been watching them all, and it's definitely the GLW's being the bullies. I put them both out into the garden tractor for most of the day the last week, but they do go back inside at nightfall with the others. Mornings I see them continue to be bullied by just those two. I've been reading that it may take two weeks of separation to make them have to change behavior, but others say that hasn't worked. There is no skin damage to the bullied ones as of now.
Would it be better to separate the two bullied ones within a extra large dog crate within the run instead, with their own food and water? Or, should I continue to take out the two bullies each day to the tractor, for more than a few weeks?
Appreciate all responses, thanks!
JuneZiva in MA
I have found that putting out additional food dishes heps them stop fighting. I use plastic tupperware dishes and nail them to boards. I have three of those plus a round feeder for 24 chickens. I just put cup of food in the tupperwaer. And two water fighting!
They are still young and may/probably will work it out. Hard to watch, but unless blood is drawn I would leave it alone. That's the pecking order and they are sorting it out. You can make the situation worse. It's a chicken world, not a people world. Leave them be, look the other way, unless blood is drawn. Then, if you can determine the bully separate her out of sight of the others for 2 weeks. If that doesn't work you may need to cull her.

When blood is drawn by a particular hen, especially on a continuing basis, I have no tolerance. They go to freezer camp. Bullying hens come from bad breeding in my opinion. It stresses the flock and yourself. Not worth it.

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