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My 2 pekins won't let the Orpington into house at night - any advise please?

(6 Posts)
CornishQueen Mon 06-Jun-11 22:41:37

I have 3 chooks - got them all from the same breeder - they free ranged together in day but all diff breeds had diff sleep places I think. If the Orpington tries to get in the pop hole the 2 pekins block it; if she pushes past they peck at her; if I put her in first and let them in 1/2 hr later they push her out again once they get in. She is a gentle soul and just seems to sigh and go back down the ramp into the lower, mesh bit of their small coup. I know they have to sort out the pecking order and in early days I let them get on with it... but I got the chooks 6 months ago - should they still be bullying her now?
They have run of fenced veg patch in day and all seem to get on fine - although she is clearly bottom of pecking order at feed time. When I let them all into main garden she is actualy the calmest/boldest and the pekins follow her about.
Just bed time problems... what do you think? Should I just leave Orpington in lower bit and leave pop hole open... or shut them all in the small upper section and leave them to get on with it... or what? In winter she will need to get in with them.

CornishQueen Mon 06-Jun-11 22:42:41

OOOPs - that was 6 weeks ago I got them - not 6 months!!

mummymeister Mon 06-Jun-11 23:14:02

Keep them all locked in together with plenty of food water and vent for at least 24 hours but check frequently during the day to make sure there is no bullying going on. they are doing it because they can and you just have to break the cycle. If you start off separating them you will always have to do it. Like kids with temper tantrums sort it out now before it gets any worse!

CornishQueen Tue 07-Jun-11 08:26:34

Thanks for this - I will try shutting them in again. Problem is we have been here before - they were all shut together in the small coop (raised/enclosed roosting and nesting box area at top of ramp within a small wire enclosure) for 4-5 days when I first got them as the garden is not totally secure and I needed to 'home' them. She had a hard time, but not impossibly so (I kept a close eye). The bullying (or normal pecking order behaviour, probably?) has not got any worse - it just has not got better either and I wondered if this IS normal or whether they should have settled down by now?

mummymeister Tue 07-Jun-11 14:16:10

Hi CQ. I think you have to let them sort themselves out really. Pecking order is just that and it does have to happen. In an enclosed space of course the pecked on cannot run away. If it gets really out of hand then you do sometimes have to move one of them on in which case split up the two rather than the Orp. Wouldnt leave them in as long as 4 - 5 days. Try a day and a half first see if it makes any difference. Only once have we given up and had to move a chicken away so dont despair.

CornishQueen Tue 07-Jun-11 21:34:30

OK - thanks very much. They did seem better tonight actually.... it does seem to vary. I guess I just need to leave them to it but keep an eye.... If boss chicken gets too bossy I may keep her slightly seperate for a day or so.

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