Two Barred Rocks Behaving BADLY!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hawkeye95, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 9 week old chicks and two of those are Barred Rocks. A while back, they were getting tight quarters in the brooder at night, and THAT is when I noticed a lot of my chicks suddenly had bloodied tails with missing feathers. They were ONLY in the brooder at night. And that is when the attacks were happening. I finally realized who was doing it because the two of them don't have missing tail feathers, and I have been watching and they are running down the others and grabbing them by the tail feathers. I even noticed them eating a feather or two. Not always, though, but today I witnessed them scarfing down a couple of feathers. Anyway, they have been in a large enough space for them for a couple of weeks now, and the BR's are still going after the other chicks. Which means it's tough for the others to heal up. Although, I know they are healing, because I'm checking the injured ones daily and they are growing back little pin feathers and their skin is looking nice. So the attacks must be less than they were-- but I caught both BR's running after the other chicks today.

    So here's the Question!! What do I do with these two little BR pullets??? I would rather NOT give them away, but try to figure out another option. Maybe separate them out for a while?? Suggestions? And once they are picking the feathers from others.. will they ever stop?? Why are they doing this?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You don't say how small an area these 9 week old adolescents are penned. You mention a brooder. Really bad habits develop when chickens are over crowded. At night, 9 weeks old need to be in complete darkness, from sunset, which is around 5:30 pm, until sunrise, which is now around 7:30 am. No heat. No light. Darkness. They cannot fuss with each other in complete darkness.

    9 week olds are half grown. They are feathered out and need a lot of space during the day, ie, a run and quiet, darkness of the coop to sleep at night.
     
  3. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have the space to separate them out for a week or two. I would do it. Also try to give them some high protein treats, yogurt, meal worms, tuna, scrambled egg, etc. Some people like to use cat food. I don't know what my hang up is but I can't bring myself to do that.

    They could be lacking protein. They could just be bullies.

    I'm not sure you can do this to chickens that young, but I just put a pinless peeper on a hen that was bullying another and that worked great.

    But I'd try the separation and high protein diet for at least a week or two first. Let the others heal and then see what happens.
     
  4. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    They're just the most dominate chicks and are putting the other ones in there place, but obviously too roughly. Take the two rocks, put them in a separate place for a week(gives the chicks time to heal up and when the two mean ones come back they'll look like newcomers and will be lower in the pecking order) then put them back in with the others. [​IMG]
     
  5. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They were in the brooder- but that was a few weeks ago, and even then, I separated them out of there. The last few weeks, they have been in the barn in a large area sectioned off for them- plenty of room for the others to get away and fly. Which is why the others have been healing-- they had a lot more room. But they still go after the others when the others are nearby. They are definitely bullies. I can separate them out for a week. I know they won't love that, but perhaps that will do the trick. Oh, and they haven't had a light on at night, either. They are just MEAN! [​IMG]

    Thanks for the suggestion of separating them out. I hope they are just trying to be the head hens and that's all they are doing. But yeah, they are making the others bleed, poor things. I'll also buy them some canned cat food and see if they like that and will make them happy. I don't think this is a protein thing, I'm giving them 18% protein as it is. AND they eat their fill. But I'll give the canned cat food a shot while they are in "seclusion". Sigh. *i think they are just mean.*
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  6. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your other chicks were bleeding and you did not address that, the BRs continued to peck because chickens peck at blood. Use blukote (sp) on any areas that might be scabbed over or look bloody. They are very sensitive to the color red and will not stop pecking once another chicken is bleeding.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you're feeding 18%, I agree that protein won't like be the culprit. Agree with trying BlueKote. Blood to a chicken more tempting than to a Great White Shark.

    Yup. You sometimes just get bullies. Feather pickers get culled quickly in many flocks. Separation is absolutely worth a try. Make it 3 weeks to have the full effect. I wish you well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  8. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fred's Hens :

    If you're feeding 18%, I agree that protein won't like be the culprit. Agree with trying BlueKote. Blood to a chicken more tempting than to a Great White Shark.

    Yup. You sometimes just get bullies. Feather pickers get culled quickly in many flocks. Separation is absolutely worth a try. Make it 3 weeks to have the full effect. I wish you well.

    Thanks, I'm going to give that a shot! I hope the others start getting bolder while the BR's are on vacation. I didn't think it was worth mentioning, but the only two birds they don't pick on are two little white silkies (the same age--9 weeks). Those silkies are very peaceful and don't hurt anyone-- until the BR's come by. Then they both stick out their chests and flap their wings backwards and go at the BR's with their feet. The BR's still continue to challenge the silkies every day, anyway. But I have 10 others that are getting hounded by these two BR girls.​
     
  9. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks, I'm going to give that a shot! I hope the others start getting bolder while the BR's are on vacation. I didn't think it was worth mentioning, but the only two birds they don't pick on are two little white silkies (the same age--9 weeks). Those silkies are very peaceful and don't hurt anyone-- until the BR's come by. Then they both stick out their chests and flap their wings backwards and go at the BR's with their feet. The BR's still continue to challenge the silkies every day, anyway. But I have 10 others that are getting hounded by these two BR girls.

    Have you thought about trying pinless peepers? In had an evil EE. She is now wearing peepers and all is well in my flock of 18.
     
  10. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Separating them temporarily is a great idea but for me, Barred Rocks are the biggest bullies ever and I can't wait to get rid of mine. My son wants them and as soon as he gets his coop built he's more than welcome to them. They cause the most problems. I'm sure if the flock is all barred rocks that would be different.
     

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