Worried about my RIR's


6 Years
Sep 19, 2013
Hi all,

I live in the city and have 2 RIR's that grew up together. Just recently one started to peck/pinch the other. No blood is being drawn, and I know some said if no blood let them work it out, but I am concerned because it makes the one out of the two getting picked on very frantic. She is even afraid to be near the other. They have ample space, food, water, and nest boxes in the coop. Any insight to what is going on would be helpful..... I have scanned google for answers but most answers are for 3 or more chickens. I am concerned for their mental health.
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Have you checked to see if they have lice or mites? They can peck those off and eat them. A little bit more about the girls would be helpful in determining if this is normal or not. How old are they? Are they laying? Are they normal weight or have they lost weight recently? Where is she being pecked at? Are their combs red or pale? I would suggest that you get a third girl after we rule out any problems. If one passes it is not good for the other to be alone. No one wants to think about loosing their pet but it does happen to chickens despite all our best effort, something out there is always hungry.
Welcome to BYC!
The girls are 6 months old and laying. Combs are nice and bright red. They seem healthy and vibrant. Weight seems great. They dust bathe and have DE. She seems to always peck the other on the back. I checked them over for mites, didn't see anything unusual, didn't see any crawling around in feathers. Think I will get someone who is familiar with mites on chickens to take a look too, to be sure, as this is my first time and a second opinion would make me feel better. Think I will clean coop just as a precaution. Thanks everyone for the responses and welcomes.
Oh yeah, the one getting pecked on has been laying inconsistently, where as the other is consistent
DE will not kill lice and mites, it is a preventive measure only. OK, this gives me three ideas: mites/lice, boredom, or molt.

1) Have that other person check for mites or lice. I believe you are going the natural method by the use of DE, am I correct? If so, a tee tree oil shampoo will do the trick. Give them a good bath and blow dry on low (make sure under feathers are dry). If not, dust with poultry dust. Both require a good cleaning of the coop and retreat in 7-10 days.

2) Boredom can be cured by bringing in another hen and adding something like a flock block to give them something else to peck at. You can also make your own flock block. In chickens it is better to have 3 or more.

3) It is the right time of year for their molt. Are there extra feathers laying around (more than normal)? Is the pecker eating them? If so, increase protein with something like yogurt.
Yes, as natural as possible. I haven't noticed any extra feathers, very few if any laying around. I will get a flock block and a third chicken is in the works. I do give them yogurt and they enjoy it. I will also take precautionary measures on the coop and the hens, I prefer to error on the side of caution. Thank you for all the help and information it is greatly appreciated

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