She HAS TO HAVE the others's treats!

Papa John59

Songster
May 21, 2019
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Amberg, Germany
My Sussex (Bella) pullet will not allow our Amrock alone during feeding! During the day she is very friendly towards the other two pullets,a Leghorn (Flecky) and the Amrock (Resi), BUT the moment we refill the feeder or bring out treats, she will shove Resi from the food! She evens pecks at her! Poor Resi never gets her treats. Or Bella will run back and forth, shoving the other two away from the treat. Then, when Flecky and Resi get tired of being bullied, they will go back out into the garden, (treats are only fed inside the run) and Bella is then no longer interested in the treats. Again, BUT the moment she sees Resi go into the run to eat, she has to be there, chasing her away. Without separating them, any suggestions on how to give them treats?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,154
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This is normal chicken nature at work, the "pecking order" some call it. Chicken social order is composed of those that are timid, assertive, and some aggressive individuals that seem to be everywhere throwing their little weight around.

A couple of my youngest flock members are like the one you describe. They are always vigilant that another chicken might be getting something and they aim to be right there to get it first.

How I handle treat time is to gather the few timid individuals that always come up empty in the competition for treats and usher them into my "jail" enclosure and give them their treats first so they don't need to compete. While they enjoy their treats in peace, I then toss the remaining treats to the rest of the flock that are more than able to compete with one another for their share.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 3, 2016
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Multiple feeders, even with a small flock, are a good way to give lower ranked birds a chance to get a few bites in without harassment.

I also do find that separating more aggressive birds from the bottom birds works well, if you have a set up that allows for that (for example my run is split with a gate in the middle, so I can use the gate to separate birds if needed).
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
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David, Chiriquí, Panama
Another solution to modify the behavior of your extremely dominant hen is to put her in "jail", out of sight, out of mind for the rest of the flock for a half-week... this should knock her off the top rung in the pecking order. Not for the feint of heart, as pecking order games soon follow such a maneuver, but if the top hen is really THAT big of a bully, she might need to be knocked down a peg or two.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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My Sussex (Bella) pullet will not allow our Amrock alone during feeding! During the day she is very friendly towards the other two pullets,a Leghorn (Flecky) and the Amrock (Resi), BUT the moment we refill the feeder or bring out treats, she will shove Resi from the food! She evens pecks at her! Poor Resi never gets her treats. Or Bella will run back and forth, shoving the other two away from the treat. Then, when Flecky and Resi get tired of being bullied, they will go back out into the garden, (treats are only fed inside the run) and Bella is then no longer interested in the treats. Again, BUT the moment she sees Resi go into the run to eat, she has to be there, chasing her away. Without separating them, any suggestions on how to give them treats?
Hand feed them their treats. If you do it fairly, they will learn to wait, just like humans in this respect. Chickens are hierarchical and socially cooperative.
The proof that chickens can learn this can be seen with a senior rooster and junior rooster and also in new pullets joining a group. Both learn to keep away from the food until the seniors have finished eating.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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There have been some really good suggestions here for you to try, and see what works best for your flock.
How old is your flock?
I found a combination of multiple feeders and waters worked best,and depending on amount of time I have to treat I will put treats in several different places or hand feed them to them if I have the time to do it with 16 birds they have to wait their turn and it's shared equally.

Each flock master has to choose ideas that they think will work best for them and their flock, theres no it can only be done a certain way, also if something doesn't work like you thought don't be afraid to modify it or go on to another suggestion.
 

Ribh

Weirder, stranger, quirkier, better
Premium Feather Member
Dec 18, 2018
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I use a combination of methods as I have a couple of much smaller birds & 2 very timid/flighty birds. The small & timid know if they hang back when I scatter treats they can be hand fed unharassed. Table scraps go in multiple feeders so everyone has a chance to grab something they like.
 

penny1960

Yippity do Da Yippity ay
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Dec 29, 2015
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Hope you can see the feeders as in no waist have like 8 of them to the right of the table
peeps and garden 007.jpg
 

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