What Breed To Break It Up?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BrowncoatChicks, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. BrowncoatChicks

    BrowncoatChicks In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2012
    Hi everybody,

    I have 2 large fowl hens, whom I raised from day-olds, who are now in their 3rd year. It seems like each year around late autumn when the hens start moulting the dominant hen (an Easter Egger) starts attacking the submissive hen (a Rhode Island Red). She always gets feathers plucked and at least some blood is drawn. We've come up with various ways to combat this each of the two times, but what I'm really wondering now is if adding a third hen to the flock who can stand up to Edna (the Easter Egger) will break up the social structure and give Edna a distraction from poor Tori (the Rhode Island Red) come next moulting-time. We don't really need more eggs, so any breed that's not submissive and maybe cool-looking as a bonus will do. Any ideas anyone?

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    First off, welcome to the forum [​IMG] !
    I would be really hesitant to add just one bird of any kind, as chickens are not kind to newbies, and it can get ugly. If you want to bring in new, do it with two (poetry...lol). That way the newbie has a buddy to be beat up with...lol.
    Moulting is miserable work, and it's harder on them the older they get (IMO). LOTS of extra protein (game bird feed/flock raiser) and no "snacks" may help your lead hen NOT to feather pick so much this fall/winter. She may be doing it as a way of adding protein, which helps feathers regrow (is she eating any of the feathers when she does that?). Or you can get her a pair of pinless peepers - they're kind of like miniature horse blinders that work well for most people who are having feather picking problems...
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I agree, put two in there, not just one. But do introduce them slowly. As in have them penned separately but next to the others so they can see and interact some for a week or so before turning them loose together. And I also agree, that it could be a protien issue if she's eating those feathers. Game starter food is a good idea for molting hens as it has very high protien.
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Yep, molting properly requires a good amount of protein, often higher than what they're already eating, so that is likely one of the problems. The other is that it often causes mood changes anyway.

    Most cool looking breeds won't do well as a single bird introduced to a new flock except Oriental Gamefowl, which, aren't fully a beginner's breed and may likely reach the top of the pecking order with quite a step ahead. They don't take no for an answer. (to poultry, not people)
  5. BrowncoatChicks

    BrowncoatChicks In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2012
    OK thanks everybody for the info!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by