The Bottom Chicken Getting Picked On

pony007

Songster
Oct 2, 2020
125
256
136
Anderson, CA, USA
My Coop
My Coop
I have 11 Brahmas that are just coming up to 14 weeks. I ended up with 8 pullets, and 3 cockerels. Everyone so far gets along, with one exception my buff cockerel. The hens as well as the other cockerels will all pick on the one buff boy.. I've seen the pullets and other boys bite the back of his head, and make him squawk and try to force him down to the ground. When i turn them out to their run in the morning they all take turns chasing him or pecking him. He's very timid, and just tries to get away. He's the sweetest little guy to people, if you pet him he just lays down, closes his eyes and soaks up the love.
Should i be concerned that the others will injure or possibly kill him? If that's the case, is putting him in another run with one of the nicer girls an option? or will it stress them out? Re-homeing him would be my very last resort cause he's the prettiest boy and is one of my favorites, but i want to do whats best for him.
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,096
18,028
766
North Central Iowa
I had a similar situation with one of my hens. All six girls were brooded together, but when they moved to the adult coop, suddenly the Welsummer was the object of everyone's attack. She spent much of her first year with no feathers on her butt. I tried moving her to another coop, but she didn't fare much better there. Strangely, the attacks have pretty much stopped.

If you have the ability to separate him and house him with a hen or two that gets along with him, that's what I would do. I actually let my chickens "choose" their own coop mates whenever possible. I watch who hangs out together when everyone is free ranging and, because my chicken addiction extends to chicken coops (I have 18 birds housed in five coops plus a "house" chicken and separate housing for the ducks and the geese). I am able to put together birds who seem compatible. Or, at least reduce the number of birds in a coop to the point where everyone has someplace to hide.

Good luck with your boy. I hope you can find a solution that doesn't mean sending him away. But, I'm sure you'll do what's best for him.
 

Chickenman MAN

Songster
Oct 25, 2020
609
649
171
United Kingdom South Devon
I agree. Too many cockerels can be outright dangerous, overmating, violence etc can occur.
I have four hens, and one was an evil bully, we put pinless peepers on her for 6 weeks and when they came off she had stopped, all solved. However, putting pinless peepers on all chickens but that one cockerel is a pain. I'd separate the bullied cockerel with his favourite friend and get rid of the other cockerels. Also make sure you coop and run is large enough, overcrowding can lead to bullying. Hope this helps!
 

pony007

Songster
Oct 2, 2020
125
256
136
Anderson, CA, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Their coop is 8X12, and their current run is 10X12. Me and my husband are working on a much larger fenced run that will attach to both that will be larger than 30X30. I have 10 more girls ordered for march also.

From what I've observed, he only gets pecked in the run. It starts when the more spunky cockerel "baby yoda" pecks him first, then the rest want to join in. There are branches in the run that he can jump behind, and their ramp is a good barrier.

The biggest cockerel "freddie" is the leader and only attacks when the buff cockerel gets in his way. Baby yoda is the initial aggressor most of the time. They're all sweet towards people, I've raised them more or less to be pets. I'm afraid that if i gave away the other boys that they'd end up as someones dinner, so i want to avoid that.

Its quite the dilema :hmm
 
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Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,096
18,028
766
North Central Iowa
I totally understand. It's the reason my problem goat wether still lives here. He's a complete jerk and the only one of the herd that I wouldn't miss. He's okay with me, but terrible with the girls; only the other wether (his best friend) gets along with Jack. BUT, if I find him unbearable, what might happen to him elsewhere?

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Chickenman MAN

Songster
Oct 25, 2020
609
649
171
United Kingdom South Devon
Hmm
Their coop is 8X12, and their current run is 10X12. Me and my husband are working on a much larger fenced run that will attach to both that will be larger than 30X30. I have 10 more girls ordered for march also.

From what I've observed, he only gets pecked in the run. It starts when the more spunky cockerel "baby yoda" pecks him first, then the rest want to join in. There are branches in the run that he can jump behind, and their ramp is a good barrier.

The biggest cockerel "freddie" is the leader and only attacks when the buff cockerel gets in his way. Baby yoda is the initial aggressor most of the time. They're all sweet towards people, I've raised them more or less to be pets. I'm afraid that if i gave away the other boys that they'd end up as someones dinner, so i want to avoid that.

Its quite the dilema :hmm
Hmm, should be more than large enough for them so I guess no issue with space. I think you need to either separate the bullied with a friend, or try putting hiding spaces in the run, and see what happens :)
 

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