The post would not accept my response so I apologize for starting another thread.  Here's my question/response.  Hope this works.

Thanks for the info.  I will look into the Pinless Peepers.  

One question, do you think I could establish myself as the dominant hen?  This evening when I went out to check on them all the girls except the BR's were on the ladder again.  So I took the opportunity to feather pick the BR's.  I didn't actually pull feathers out but tugged hard enough to get their attention.  Do you think if I continued to do this I could be viewed by those two girls as the top bird and their nasty behavior might stop?  

The other thing is that I decided to turn out the light.  I had been keeping a light on to help start egg production but I am thinking that the light is just giving them too much time to be terrorists to the others.  Since the other four can't run into the run because it's too dark they are just stuck having to be abused.  During the day they run into the hen house if they are in the run or run around the run to get away.  Most of the damage is happening at night when the light is on.  So tonight the light has gone out.

What do you think?

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You merely establish yourself at the top of the "pecking order"; they'll still peck all others lower on that order. No need for lights, just let them have a dark winter.

It's been a while.... how did turning off the light work out? Pinless Peepers? Any other update?

Thanks!

I haven't tried the Pinless Peepers but we did reduce the amount of time the light is on.  It's funny because the two BR's just rule the roost, one in particular.  They are always together and the four other, 2 EE and 2 silkies are always together.  When I let them out in the yard two go one way the the other four go the other way.  I would probably re-home the two BR's since they are so "aggressive" to the others but they aren't hurting them and the other four keep their distance.  Plus we like them.  We are also changing how we feed them.  I used to put all their extra food, greens, broc., cauli., oatmeal, etc., on a plate together and they would all take turns eating or at least be nice when eating.  Now I spread it throughout the coop.  The BR's try to micromanage everyone else but it's hard when the food is everywhere and they want to eat.  My only real issue I haven't figured out how to fix is that the BR's "guard" the hen house at night literally standing at the entrance while the other four roost on either the ladder or a roost inside the coop.  I usually have to go out and pick the girls up and put them in the hen house when it is completely dark inside so I can shut the hen house door.  (I'm too afraid to let them sleep in the coop even though it's completely enclosed.   I'm hoping that this behavior stops once the other four start laying???  As for a rooster, I just can't have one where I live, though I am wondering if one of my silkies is a roo as she/he looks rooish.  But is she's a he he'll be useless as she/he gets picked on all the time.  LOL  

I still pull on the dom. hens feathers not enough to hurt her, but enough to get her attention.  Who knows if it's working, it has gotten a bit better,  but she's the only one that squats for me.

It's funny, I read somewhere about how easy chickens are to keep as pets and I find them just as complicated and time consuming as dogs and cats.  Maybe I just have spoiled chickens.  

nawwwwe....if they are to be pets they ARE as complicated as cats and dogs since you are interacting with them and NOT just throwing food out and collecting eggs.

 

Great pets though.  We adopted a great pyrenees dog last summer and are trying to get him to be a little gentler with the girls. He wasn't raised as a guardian so it's hard for him to adjust.  He would never hurt one on purpose but likes to chase them then hold them down with a paw and stick his nose up their butts.  The girls squat for him as well as for us. We're going to get a couple of chicks next month and see if watching them grow up and interacting with them will make the dog gentler and more careful.

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