Sibling rivalry...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sara1226, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has anyone else had any bad experiences keeping chickens who are related to one another? I have a flock of 7, ages 2 months to 12 months, and only three are related. Two sisters and a brother. They are around 4 months old, and are constantly fighting. It doesn't seem like just establishing a pecking order either, because they keep damaging each other's beaks pretty bad. Everyone else in the flock gets along great. Is this normal for related chickens to constantly squabble? I'm thinking maybe I should break them up, also considering that I want to raise some chicks in the spring and related chickens aren't the best for breeding.

    Any thoughts and advice is greatly appreciated as always!!!

    Thanks!

    Sara
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    I have never had that problem, sometimes rooster siblings can go at it, but I have never had hens do more than the usual stuff, you must have some scrappers. At four months hormones are building and rearranging of the pecking order goes on, yours must all want top spot. Hopefully they figure it out and calm down.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Check your space, constant fighting almost always is do to not enough space. Chickens don't have the intelligence to recognize family relationships.

    Mrs.K
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^

    Pics or description of your housing might garner an answer.
     
  5. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry, but I don't think that is the issue. We have a 10 ft long by 4 ft wide coop, and they are out in a large run every day which is over 20 ft long by 10 ft wide. 7 bantam size.. In my opinion they have enough space but that's just me. They have a treat ball, mirrors, etc too (I spoil them), so I don't think it's boredom either. Plus like I said, all other chickens do great, it's just these 3.

    It's strange to me, and a bit frustrating.
     
  6. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    What breed are they? Are they a game breed or mix?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    For thousands of years practically every small farmer worldwide that raises chickens have chickens related to each other. They inbreed them, bringing in an outside rooster every four or five generations to handle genetic diversity issues. As Ms. K said, chickens don’t understand family relations once the broody hen has weaned her chicks. Often the broody hen didn’t lay the eggs she hatched either. Them being related to each other is not the problem.

    At four months they are hitting puberty, especially the cockerel. The pullets probably not yet but the cockerel is trying to dominate the pullets since they are about the same age. He’s not ready to challenge the older chickens yet. The pullets don’t know what is going on so they are resisting him. Of course this is a guess, I’m not looking at them, but I think it is an educated guess. It’s pretty normal.

    What concerns me though is you said they are damaging each other’s beaks. That is not normal. Could you expand some comments on that? What does the damage look like? What’s happening to cause that damage?
     
  9. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One is a rooster, he isn't crowing yet. I'd like him to though, I live in the country too so when/if he does he won't bother anyone. The other two are pullets. I don't know much about their backround. I was just told they were a banty mix. I will try to attach some pics. I think he's very pretty, and he is friendly (so far.. I know it could change). We hand feed him treats, and he sits on my and my daughters shoulder. I just wish we would crow... But I'll keep waiting. I'd be willing to sell the two girls, but not him. I did notice this morning that he definetly starts most of the fights. Yet he doesn't dare try with the older hens/pullets who are also a little bigger. Maybe they already put him in his place though. ;)S

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  10. sara1226

    sara1226 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sapose I should clarify... The pullets are only shown in the first picture. The rest are of mister rooster. They peck at each other's face, the top part of the beaks will occasionally have some layers missing. Cockerel even had a hole in his beak the other day. [​IMG]
     

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