Should I bother?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GardenGal, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. GardenGal

    GardenGal Songster

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    There have been a lot of changes in our flock just recently, our lead hen was killed, we had to increase our small flock with a batch of chicks, and now I've noticed the new top hen is a jerk toward our other hen when they go to bed. I watched them the other night, Amelia hopped up first, Dixie hopped up to the far side, then Amelia sidled over and methodically started pecking at her. Dixie cowered against the wall and just took it. Most of the day they are thick as thieves, and I hate to lose Amelia.

    So I put Amelia in solitary last night, thinking to keep her apart for a couple days. Well, this morning sweet Dixie came out as her evil twin. She had been ignoring the chicks but now paces their enclosure and pecks them whenever they're near the chicken wire.

    Dixie has lost a fair number of feathers by her tail. Should I just let that go on? She and Amelia seem worse without each other, and I feel bad for them.

    I could really use some input. Thanks, BYCers.
     
  2. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

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    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    First of it's hard to tell, as how many chickens you have and how much room? There are always squabbles when changing pecking order, but missing feathers sounds extreme... make sure you have enough perches at different heights. I put vertical barriers in some places to give them something to hide behind and deflect pecks...not everybody can roost in the best spot so some have to take second place. I have coach roosts available for those who don't get first class and unless I bother them they manage OK. If I notice a particular trouble maker I will have to cull him or her. Good luck
     
  3. GardenGal

    GardenGal Songster

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    Thank you. The chicks are separated and will have the option to always stay in their little coop, the two adult bantams are sharing a coop that's plenty big for 4. They have one 4' long perch...I'm thinking about modifying it and creating two perches. I really hope I don't have to separate the adults for a while because the aggressive one has a rough time and is really pathetic and the other one turns evil! But I want to do what's best for the chickens.

    Another thing I could do is keep Amelia the Aggressive in a kennel within their coop. She wouldn't have a perch though. It's tricky because there doesn't seem to be one easy answer. I appreciate your input.
     

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