Grrr, someone pecked Ginger and her comb was bleeding tonight. Not much. I'm sure it was just a nip. Coco and Pumpkin are tight with each other and I do occasionally catch them giving Ginger a peck. I know that this is all normal pecking order behavior but it still bugs me.
I do spray them with water when I catch them. But I'm only out there for a few minutes in the morning and evening so they have lots of time just amongst themselves during the day.
It's frustrating because they have plenty of room to roam. They have plenty of access to food and water. There is no reason to fight or peck. I try not to doll out too many treats. I know it's not good for them and that they should really be eating their layer rations. And I've been trying to make sure that treats contain some form of protein. I know that lack of protein can also encourage pecking.
Ginger is just such a sweetheart and I just love her so much. And she's so docile. I really want to get another Orpington so she has a buddy. But I was really hoping to wait till she went broody and let her raise a chick. I've read that even the most docile hens can turn on the protective mother hen instinct when they raise a chick to the point where it can even change up the pecking order of a flock.
I suppose another option would be to pick up a fully grown Orpington. But then I'd have to quarantine the bird and work to introduce her to the flock and that could cause even bigger issues since they are an established pack.
ARRGGG... What is a Flock Mistress to do???