Chickens are social animals and like company. They also establish a hierarchy within the flock – this is where the term ‘pecking order’ comes from - which can lead to bullying and pecking. Around the time they are molting, this can be a particular problem as chickens without a complete covering of feathers are more vulnerable to injury. One solution if a chicken is being picked on, is to move it into separate quarters. You could use an old rabbit hutch or dog kennel – but these are far from ideal. If you have a Chicken Ark plans”>chicken ark, this would be ideal. There’s covered space for roosting and recovery and an enclosed run for scratching and pecking around in the light. Our chicken ark plans are easy to follow and simple enough to make in less than a day. Once the chicken (or chickens) has recovered, you can introduce them back to the main flock. However, the problem can then start all over again as the re-introduced chickens are now at the bottom of the pecking order. Looks idyllic - but one of them may be a trouble-maker! If you do want to keep the vulnerable chickens longer-term, another approach is to identify the bullies and separate them in the ark, for about a month. When you re-introduce the once dominant chickens, one at a time, they will be at the bottom of the pecking order. This will of course, shake things up – and the problem may well be solved.
Building a Chicken Coop
Bill Keane's excellent book has complete sets of plans and instructions for a chicken ark, a medium size hen house and a chicken coop that will house a larger flock. Click here to download There's also a full guide to raising and keeping chickens to get you started in this rewarding hobby.