So I've got two red sexlinks just over one year old and I've been trying for around a month now to introdce them to my two new plymouth rock pullets. They are currently in separate coups and runs - it would be so much simpler if they could all live together!!! The red sexlinks are so mean, and I don't mean just by the occaisional peck. They search out, persue and pull chunks of feathers out of these two plymouth rocks. Just so you know, the cook pot is not an option for the red sexlinks - they are my very spoiled pets! The weird thing is, it seems like the red sexlinks think they are doing the right thing by chasing down the plymouths - if i try to corner and pick up a plymouth to get her out of harms way, the red sexlinks will come and 'help' me by chasing and pecking the plymouth.
I've read that other people say just to leave them to work it out themselves... but it's the feather pulling that really worries me... the plymouth rocks will end up with no feathers and possibly bleeding. it seems extreme behaviour given that the plymouths are clearly not trying to be dominant - they do their very best to hide away but the red sexlinks quietly sneak up on them and surprise attack them. It might be kind of funny if it wasn't so cruel and followed by the pulling out of beak-fulls of feathers!
So far I've tried:
- putting one red sexlink with one plymouth rock (to separate the bullies), no change in behaviour!
- distracting everyone with scraps, treats and fresh hay
- putting the plymouths where they can be seen but not pecked (nearly 2 weeks like this)
- introducing the sexlinks to the plymouth's 'territory'
- giving them 'play dates' so the plymouths only have to deal with it in short bursts
They are introduced in a large run of approx 25 square metres with perches and places to hide away