I rarely post but this is a question I'm having a hard time finding answers for with what I have to work with. I have a mixed flock and two of the birds are ISA Browns. They are awful. They bully everyone else none stop. Every moment of every day is stressful because of them. They won't let the other birds eat, they won't let the other birds sit in the nest (even though they're not using the nest at all themselves), sometimes they just all of a sudden zone in on another bird and chase them around for no reason whatsoever. I'm sick of it. I don't really have much for options on birdie jail so I just built a small extension off of the current chicken run. It's 1/5 the size of the run with the rest of the birds and they can still see the rest of the flock. I put a cat carrier in there with a nice towel covering most of the front door and a plastic lid over that so it stays dry with some dry hay in there. So here are my questions:
Is birdie jail pointless if they can see the other birds still? I could create some sort of a blind if necessary.
Should I let them sleep in the coop at night? I'd rather have them sleep in the cat carrier if that's ok. I feel as though chasing them down to put them in confinement each day will cause the whole flock stress.
How long do I need to do this before I allow them back in with the other birds?
What if the flock does REALLY well without them....? I mean they're all great birds except those two...(and please don't tell me to cull, I don't do that)
I've always sort of known this was going on a bit but then everyone stopped laying eggs entirely so I decided to watch the whole flock closely for a few days, just hanging out outside all day and observing and saw just how bad and constant it is. I've made some changes to the coop and laying nests as well to make the birds more comfortable and I'm hoping laying will resume. If it does with the other two out I'll be a little hesitant to allow them back in. So my last question is....
How cruel would it be to keep the two birds in their own little space permenantly. Although their extension is far smaller than the rest of the run it isn't exactly tiny. The chickens have a very large portion of my large backyard.
Thanks in advance all.