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Smaller Polish pecking at the larger hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shangrawla, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. shangrawla

    shangrawla Hatching

    Sep 21, 2011
    I have four chickens. Two are seven months old and two are five months old. The younger ones, a Buff Orpington and a White Crested Black Polish, grew up together and were introduced to the other 2 (a Barred Rock and a Buff Brahma) at the same time. There was the normal pecking order to show that the Barred Rock was in charge going on for a while, but things settled down. Now for the past week, my little Polish hen (Wiz) has been pecking at her buddy Sunny (the Buff Orpington). Sunny is twice as big as Wiz and I'm wondering if this is unusual behavior? The little gal going after the big gal? Wiz sort of head butt's Sunny from behind and then pecks her feathers... even sort of flies up to try and attack her from above. Really weird. Is it maybe just a space issue? We're in the midst of getting a much larger coop and run for them, but it won't be ready for another 2 weeks. They used to be such good pals following each other around, but now Sunny hangs out with the other 2 and little Wiz kind of does her own thing. Any suggestions?

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I know it is not right to use human terms to describe chicken behavior, but it sounds like she is jealous. Buff Orps are pretty mild mannered so they can be subject to bullying. I think more room will help. In the mean time maybe giving them some distraction like some hunks of cabbage to pick at. In this case you need to make sure there is enough for everyone so they don't fight over it. Wiz will probably calm down soon, just keep an eye out for any blood or bare skin that could be further temptation for pecking.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Are you positive that 'Wiz' is not a cockerel initiating mating behavior? Chickens squabble - it's a fact; therefore, the term pecking order. Usually the Polish in a mixed flock are the birds picked upon. For some reason flockmates frequently remove their crests.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think humans are the only animals that think size matters. Look at so many animals, dominance isn't nesessarily based on size, it's attitude. I had a ten pound pomeranian put a shepherd on his back. Little pom didn't know he was small, he just knew he was the boss.
  5. shangrawla

    shangrawla Hatching

    Sep 21, 2011
    Thanks for all of the replies. I hope Wiz isn't a dude, as I've become quite attached to the little buggar! Never even thought of that as a possibility. Wouldn't it be obvious at this point if she/he was a rooster with all the noise and such? She can be quite noisy, but I wouldn't say it was crowing. Hopefully it is just jealousy and once they move into a bigger space the behavior will stop. But now I am wondering... what was that old song... "dude looks like a lady"?

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