Small hen being picked on by others

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by plexiglass, May 14, 2016.

  1. plexiglass

    plexiglass Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    North Carolina
    Background information: I have four hens, 2 about a year old, and the other 2 are about 4 years old. We recently built a new coup with a large yard to accommodate the new girls. When we introduced them the new girls were picked on for about 2 weeks, then they all seemed to get along. One new girl in particular, Jane, seems to get picked on much more than the others, and I have seen her get pecked near her comb by all 3 of her coup-mates. She is a bit smaller than the others. Her main bully seems to be one of our older girls, Shelly, who has never been a big fan of Jane. None of the attacks have drawn blood as far as I can tell.
    Also, this morning I noticed Jane, after she had just laid her egg for the day, ran out of the coup and seemed to be very alarmed, we didn't see a snake but we are keeping an eye out. She made almost a honking noise at one point.
    Should I separate Shelly from the coup for a few days to put her at the bottom of the pecking order?
    If anyone can give me any insight to these issues that would be wonderful.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    There's always a bottom hen, usually the smallest. Chickens don't like new members, especially if they are older. It can take a year or so before you have a cohesive flock. You can remove the top hen, but in a flock of four she will take her spot again when returned more than likely. It's up to you as the keeper to make sure your bottom birds have places to get away or hide from the top birds. The smaller the set up them more trouble you will have.
     

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