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EE bullies

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a mixed flock of 8 hens and 1 rooster. 3 of my flock members are ee's. 2 of them are quite large and the third is a tiny little thing. She's about the same size as my little leghorn. Anywho the 2 bigger ee's are really picking on her. She seems fine as far as her health, she eats and drinks shows no signs of illness. She is pretty vocal when I'm out in the run with them. I noticed the issue a few weeks ago they were chasing her away from the food and someone suggested a second feeder that can't be seen from the original feeder. That seemed to work for a while but now it's back on. When I'm out with them and I see it I put the aggressors in the coop for a little while and they forget about it for a little while when I let them out. My rooster does nothing but giggles at the food to distract them. I'm hoping it's simply they are bord. I threw some baskets of dried grass in the run and some other miscellaneous things them seem to peak their interest last night. I'm just wondering if I've missed something or is there something else I could do.
post #2 of 6

Try putting an inner pen in the coop for her to use without them pecking at her for a few days.

post #3 of 6
post #4 of 6

I doubt it's a matter of boredom. It's more likely a combination of the small hen being both different in some respect, small in size, and timid in temperament.


I concur with the idea of giving this victimized hen her own safe enclosure for a couple of weeks. It needs to be right in the run with the others. If you remove her from the flock, she'll end up even worse off in the long run.


I had a very timid Buff Brahma who was getting picked on by the others. When I remodeled my run, I built a jail section into it, and that was her safe haven for two weeks. She roosted with the others at night, though. When I let her back with the others, she had gone through a personality change, which isn't all that unusual for chickens.


She began to fight back when bullied, and very soon, the others left her alone. I was surprised at the change in her. I posted here about it, and was told that the "vacation" gave her a rest from the stress of being bullied constantly, and she recovered her self confidence.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'll have to try that. I think she'll freak out though. She wants to be with the rest of the flock. She even approaches her bullies if they are eating something good to try and get some. And she's a little beast in the roost.she'll fight for her spot. Just in the run she won't defend herself
post #6 of 6

I don't think your little pullet has a problem so much as you're squeamish when observing the pecking order in action. it's perfectly normal for a chicken to end up being bottom of the pecking order, and they naturally follow the established rules regarding eating, which is they eat whenever they find the feeder abandoned, and eat quickly before someone notices what they're doing.


Here's what you can do to try to calm your worries. Feel the crop of the little one that you're concerned about before she eats in the morning. Then, come back a few hours later and examine her crop again. If her crop is still empty, then you indeed may have a problem. But it sounds to me like this pullet is self confident enough to see to her needs, and she's merely adhering to the protocols of the pecking order.

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