winterizing/why are the hens picking on the one?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cbriggscc, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. cbriggscc

    cbriggscc Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2008
    North Collins, NY
    I just moved my chickens to the barn for the winter. I have 6 hens (3 RIR,1Amer, 2 buffs)..For some reason the bunch have decided to pick on the one Buff (both buffs are about 1 year older then the rest of the hens)..anytime the one hen goes to eat, drink the others peck and pull her feathers..Not sure why, I dont think she has any heatlh issues other than lack of food and water. While Im waiting to hear back from anyone I have put the picked on one in a large dog crate she's still with the others but cant get picked on....first thing she did was eat and drink. I figured I'd let her get a tad better then see what happens when I put her back.
    your thoughts are greatly apperciated.
    Thank you,
    Charlene
    [email protected]
     
  2. A.J.'s

    A.J.'s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Tennessee
    they are picking at her "because they can." chickens do this..its a chicken thing.
    ever hear of the "pecking order"?
     
  3. cbriggscc

    cbriggscc Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2008
    North Collins, NY
    Well I gethered it was a dominate thing like dogs pack order, I'm just suprised the younger hens could get away with that with the older more mature hen.
     
  4. too much fun

    too much fun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Happy Valley, Utah
    When I recently added 9 older hens to my flock, the queen is one of the younger ones. You can see as you watch them the order they fall in and there is no rhyme or reason to it. The queen before is about 5th in line now. Go figure...
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Charlene, when new chickens are introduced and as they mature, the pecking order may be reordered.

    Buff Orpingtons have something of a "reputation" for being docile and allowing other, even smaller, chickens dominate them. I don't know, I've only had buff's once and the EE in there with them didn't cause any trouble. In fact, all in all, it was probably the least troublesome flock I've ever had.

    Right now, the hen that gets picked on is not the one on the bottom of the pecking order. It is the next one up and she often sleeps on the steps to the roost to avoid the others.

    The one on the bottom of the totem pole, nobody really picks on her. She is shy and if they want something that she has, she usually gives it up. The one that gets picked on is a go-getter and often steals what the other hens have . . . no wonder they pick on her [​IMG].

    All in all, it is sometimes difficult to know what prompts aggressive behavior. The young ones may simply be asserting themselves at the moment. I think you've done the right thing. Your Buff will probably grow a little stronger, the others will get out of the habit of picking on her, and she may develop the skills to avoid problems in the future when they get back together.

    Steve
     

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