Two separate flocks?


In the Brooder
Jun 21, 2016
I have 5 free-range chickens all about 3 years old. They all come from different backgrounds. 1 Barred Plymouth Rock, 1 Rhode-Island Red, 2 Rhodebars and a Cuckoo Maran. They had the entire 1/2 acre of our backyard to range until we couldn't stand the poop on our patio and everywhere so we divided the yard and gave them a run that was 1/3 the size. The Rhodebars and Barred Plymouth Rock started pecking at the Rhode-Island Red soon after, it was last fall when we made the change, however. Throughout the spring and summer, the pecking was minimal but continued. The Red had bald patches at the top of her wings, at the shoulder, and her head was bald. She roosted outside the coop in an enclosed run with another Barred that passed away this summer. There was never any blood. This week, it got colder again and they started plucking her completely. She lost a lot of feathers on her back and sides. I put her in the house in a dog crate for 2 days and she started to grow her feathers back. She is now outside again, because she became so restless, and is on the opposite side of the fence from the rest of the flock. I put the Cockoo Maran with her today to try it out as I have never seen that hen pick on the Red. My question, finally, is, can I keep this situation? Right now, all the hens are walking up and down the fence near each other. I don't want stressed birds but also don't want the Red killed by the others or living alone.


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
So your chickens were okay until you confined them? That does happen. Most chickens don't do well under confinement especially if they are used to ranging. It can bring out aggression. How big is this area?

You can keep separate flocks, or house the one next to the rest so they can interact through the fence.

What are you feeding? Protein content of your ration? A protein deficiency can cause aggression too.

I would at this time keep the red separately.


Free Ranging
14 Years
Feb 25, 2008
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
Sorry for your troubles,
it is always hard to intrigat chickens to a new flock.
I rescued 6 three year old Isa Browns from a lady who gets rid of all her older hens.
I noticed evidance of a feather picker when i picked them up. After 2 days i had identified the one who is doing the picking. I purchased some chicken blinders along with the tool to put them on and now have the Bad Girl, wearing them. Amazon, cost about 15 dollars for a pack of 25. I did have to inlist the help of my 16 year old daughter to help me put them on, having someone else hold the bird helps. I think i will take them off her after 2 weeks or so and see if it has stopped her habbit. They pin to the nostrel openings and do not harm the bird. She can eat drink scratch and leap up into my nest boxes. The one thing she is unable to do is get up on my roost. Im always out at the coop closing them in and doing a head count each evening anywaY so i pick her up and place her on the roost with her sisters.
Worth a try if you have a couple birds inparticular thT are aggresive


May 31, 2018
it is awfully a lot of trouble to separate run/coop/feed/water for so few birds. Keep the pecked bird separated from others but in their view for 2 weeks or so - this bad behavior should pass.

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