What causes this bul­ly­ing?

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI have three hens that have lived hap­pily to­gether for over 18 months. Two of them have now started at­tack­ing and peck­ing the other one. They will not al­low her to go to roost at night so she sleeps out­side, and I have tem­po­rar­ily sep­a­rated them. Do you have any idea what may have caused this and if I can stop it?

AAnne Perdeaux says: There are sev­eral pos­si­ble an­swers to this ques­tion, and find­ing the rea­son for your hens’ be­hav­iour is likely to be a process of elim­i­na­tion. Feather-peck­ing and bul­ly­ing are of­ten due to stress. Causes of stress can in­clude short­age of space, nu­tri­tional de­fi­ciency, lack of wa­ter, changes in rou­tine, a dis­tur­bance, or poor ba­sic hus­bandry. Chick­ens also be­come very stressed if they are too hot, so as this prob­lem seems to have started dur­ing the sum­mer months, make sure they have ac­cess to shade and their coop isn’t get­ting over-heated. If you are able to let them free-range, this of­ten helps to re­store har­mony.

Another pos­si­bil­ity is ill-health in the bul­lied hen (apart from any in­juries she may have sus­tained). Chick­ens pro­tect their flock by driv­ing away sick birds, and it’s pos­si­ble the two ag­gres­sors have no­ticed some­thing you haven’t. Give her a good check-over, es­pe­cially for ex­ter­nal par­a­sites, and worm all the flock too.

Hope this will help you to find a solution!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.