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Old 07-03-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
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I just fed my chickens and noticed one was violently trying to get out. I watched for a few minutes and one of the other hens was totally picking on her - pecking and trying to mount her. They are all the same age, raised together (4 months). I am pretty sure they are all females, but when can you tell based on appearance?

Should I separate them?

ETA: did some googleing and they are definitely pullets. My poor little pullet. What should I do?

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Old 07-03-2012, 07:22 AM   #2
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Okay I can't answer some of your direct questions... But:
I would separate for sure if you see blood.
And:
One of our hens was being mean and plucking feathers from the other hens and eating them. We read that that was a sign that they needed more animal protein, and one of the easiest ways to help was to give a little bit of dry dog food (we used cat food- no dogs) and the behavior stopped pretty quickly.

I hope you find answers!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: chicken drama help

She might just be a bully or she might be bored. Also maybe watch to see she is eating properly. Seperate her for awhile, might curve her behaviour.

Also please don't give your chicks dog or cat food, it's really is not good for them.

Acceptable treats may be a good idea, maybe hand a head of lettace hung up for them to pick at. My chicks really like canned corn and boiled eggs. Dried mealworms are a big favorite too, I get them at my local Farm Fleet.

Don't over-do the treats though, they may stop eating the food then.

HTH!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: chicken drama help

Pecking can be caused out of boredom or overcrowding. Try hanging a head of lettuce from the coop at their level.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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Re: chicken drama help

On the boredom note: we also hung a few old CDs (not cloth diapers, the other CDs, like with music on them? or blank in our case) from a string in the coop. They love to peck at them.

Are they allowed to free range at all? She possibly just wants more space from the other birds.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #6
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Would it be overcrowding if she only picks on one other bird? This poor little one runs away, hides in the corner and the bully seeks her out. Funny thing is, the bully is definitely bloody, but the picked-on girl is fine. You'd think she'd get a clue?

I put some vinegar in their water, boiled some eggs (thats not weird?), dh is gonna buy some meal worms, and i put a divider in the coop (5 in one side, 5 in the other splitting the two up). Problems have subsided for now.

I am really sick with a cold so when my landlord came over to help me separate them, he suggested we have chicken and rice for the fourth of July! I'd rather not go there.

Eta: thanks for the suggestions! Very much appreciated from this sick girl today!!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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Re: chicken drama help

try hanging a red light in the coop up high enough that it doesnt' add to the heat. the red light can curb aggressive behavior.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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Re: chicken drama help

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Originally Posted by Nielsen6 View Post
She might just be a bully or she might be bored. Also maybe watch to see she is eating properly. Seperate her for awhile, might curve her behaviour.

Also please don't give your chicks dog or cat food, it's really is not good for them.

Acceptable treats may be a good idea, maybe hand a head of lettace hung up for them to pick at. My chicks really like canned corn and boiled eggs. Dried mealworms are a big favorite too, I get them at my local Farm Fleet.

Don't over-do the treats though, they may stop eating the food then.

HTH!
About the dog food....how come? We give our chickens a handful of dogfood everyday. They love it, and they have all done very well. It also seems to strengthen their shells. It seemed like they were craving more protien than was in the feed, and we've done this for like a year and a half and I haven't seen any ill effects. My chickens are free range, so I'd say they get more protien than cooped chickens (lots of bugs). What's bad about dog food? Sometimes our cat gets into the chicken food too. Is that bad?

As far as the OP...I would try dog food, lol. And make sure they have plenty of space--as much as possible. I don't know if you live under regulations, but I would try to get 1 rooster, if possible. Sometimes a hen will start bullying and acting like a rooster if there is none present. Remove the one that's being picked on if there is blood, or they will kill her, and then probably start in on each other. If you can't give them any more room, try to keep them from getting bored. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: chicken drama help

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About the dog food....how come? We give our chickens a handful of dogfood everyday. They love it, and they have all done very well. It also seems to strengthen their shells. It seemed like they were craving more protien than was in the feed, and we've done this for like a year and a half and I haven't seen any ill effects. My chickens are free range, so I'd say they get more protien than cooped chickens (lots of bugs). What's bad about dog food? Sometimes our cat gets into the chicken food too. Is that bad?

As far as the OP...I would try dog food, lol. And make sure they have plenty of space--as much as possible. I don't know if you live under regulations, but I would try to get 1 rooster, if possible. Sometimes a hen will start bullying and acting like a rooster if there is none present. Remove the one that's being picked on if there is blood, or they will kill her, and then probably start in on each other. If you can't give them any more room, try to keep them from getting bored. Good luck!

I was possibly misinformedbefore. I did reasearch that said dog food as treats is OK, LOL. Overall I think that it should be quality dog food as well. I hear you can give cat food as well, but it is not a fantastic option (for whatever reason). Anyway I stand corrected, I was told anything but chicken feed and a few selected treats are not a good idea. Guess that is what backyardchickens.com is for.... Guess my chickens will be getting some dog food today
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunawayBunny
Would it be overcrowding if she only picks on one other bird? This poor little one runs away, hides in the corner and the bully seeks her out. Funny thing is, the bully is definitely bloody, but the picked-on girl is fine. You'd think she'd get a clue?

I put some vinegar in their water, boiled some eggs (thats not weird?), dh is gonna buy some meal worms, and i put a divider in the coop (5 in one side, 5 in the other splitting the two up). Problems have subsided for now.

I am really sick with a cold so when my landlord came over to help me separate them, he suggested we have chicken and rice for the fourth of July! I'd rather not go there.

Eta: thanks for the suggestions! Very much appreciated from this sick girl today!!
Hens have a pecking order... So yes it could be overcrowding regardless if is only one being pecked at. What kind of vinegar? I would get raw unpasterized apple cider vinegar. It can help calm the hens down as well other health benefits.

please excuse craziness - I am on my phone
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