Will a pecking hen ever stop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ptkds, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. ptkds

    ptkds In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2008
    Hi! We have 6 chicks, about 1 month old. 2 are yellow, and 4 are black, not sure of the breeds. They are all the same age. All the black ones are hens, not sure about the yellow ones yet. One of the black chicks keeps pecking the other ones, mostly the yellow ones. They are missing feathers just above their tail, and one of them looks like she has bled some. I am assuming she is trying to make sure they all know she is the leader. They have plenty of room, food, and water. However, I can't really seperate them at the moment because I have no where else to put them. I plan to seperating them soon, but it won't happen for at least a few days.

    My real question is: Will she ever stop pecking? Even if I remove her for a while, will I ever be able to safely put her in with the others? Or should I get rid of her? I have a friend who has chicks about the same age, and she is willing to take any of our chicks. She has alot more room and resources for things like this. She lives in the country with barns and stuff, I live in town with a small yard. What should I do?

  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Separating the mean one is the only thing I can think of. You can try separating her for about a week, and then putting her back in with the others, she may not peck them anymore. Or, if you're worried, go ahead and give her to your friend. If you do give her away, make sure she has other chicks to socialize with. Chicks are very social animals.
  3. LuannKeller

    LuannKeller Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Greer, SC USA
    She's picking at the wrong end. Pecking order/Dominance issues seem to center on the head. Picking at the tail base is more troubling. Have you observed her eating feathers she pulls off? If she does, she may have a serious problems of addiction to new feathers. Definitely separate her - perhaps a small cage next to the others but safely out of reach. You could even construct a wire barrier to keep her from her victims in the same brooder.
  4. CUDA

    CUDA Songster

    Mar 4, 2008
    Separating the birds is the worst thing you can do. Make sure you are still feeding them starter feed, so they are getting the protein they need, and get yourself some blue kote to spray on the area's that get pecked. This stuff tastes nasty to the pecking birds, and they will quit pecking that spot. Also, if they are a month old, they should be outside by now, and if they aren't, and you still have them in a small area, they need to have more room to stay away from each other, it will help, and having stuff on the ground to peck at will keep them more occupied too. If you still have them inside, make sure you don't have too much light on them as this will cause this kind of behavior too.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  5. If it were me, i would rehome her. i have done that in the past and they seem to settle down when placed in new surroundings with other chickens. They become the odd man (or hen) out and seem to fall in line.

    Unless you are very attached to her, my suggestion would be to give her to your friend.

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