The pecking order is getting bloody.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by meekmax, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. meekmax

    meekmax Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    I have six chickens (2 New Hampshires, 2 Wyandottes, and 2 Ameracaunas). One of my Ameracaunas is being bullied by the other chickens. They have been pulling out her tail feathers and have started to draw blood. Since this is a group behavior, I can't separate out the bully.

    I'm worried about my Ameracauna. What should I do?
  2. meekmax

    meekmax Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    I forgot to mention that they're all the same age (26 weeks old).
  3. gg706

    gg706 Songster

    Jul 5, 2011
    If you intend on keeping her I don't think I would seperate her from the flock. When you reintroduce her they will probably attack her again and worse because she is "new". The only thing I can think of is putting up a divider, keeping her in view of the flock to let her heal then let her back into the flock and see if they will leave her alone. Do your chickens range? You could try ranging them if possible. I feel like chickens that range have other things to do than pick on each other.
  4. SallyinIndiana

    SallyinIndiana Crowing

    Aug 14, 2012
    Bargersville, Indiana
    I have read a lot of good things about increasing mineral intakes to decrease pecking.
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Separate the injured bird until she is fully healed. If she is bleeding they will not stop and they could kill her.

    Wait until she is well and then reintroduce her. Make sure that you have enough coop and roost space and that everyone is getting plenty to eat and lots of protein (just to make sure that their diet and environment aren't contributing to the bullying)
  6. First, chickens have a sense to kill the sick birds in their flock in order to keep the rest of the flock healthy. Make sure your hen is healthy(other then the bleeding).
    Second, the bullying could be the result of boredom. Give them something to play with and/or let them range.

    I would seperate her from the flock, but keep her in the coop with them. Have her in a cage so they still see her and when you release her they will not view her as a stranger. Since she is bleeding, you should make sure she does not get an infection so cleanit regularly.

    Hope that helps,
    Half A Chance Farm
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    It may be group behavior but there is sure to be a ring leader or two. Watch to see who is always the first. The first one may not even be the top hen, just one that wants to make sure the one picked on doesn't get ahead of her. That is the one to remove.
  8. meekmax

    meekmax Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    I have a dog crate that will keep her in view but separated from the other chickens. I think I'll stick her in there until she heals. Will she be safe if I put her in the coop with them at night?
  9. meekmax

    meekmax Hatching

    Jan 12, 2012
    "I have read a lot of good things about increasing mineral intakes to decrease pecking."

    What kinds of minerals?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  10. 7 Biddies

    7 Biddies Crowing

    May 22, 2012
    NE GA Mountains
    My Coop
    If you have a nicer chicken who doesn't bully her, I'd put her in the segregated area with your Americauna; She'll have company, maintaining her social skills or building them, and she won't get lonely. Also, maybe the others will learn to be nice by example.

    (Can you tell I'm a school psychologist? I hope my methods work just as well with chickens.)

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