Abigail is a bully

thewatsonfarm

Songster
6 Years
5 Years
Mar 22, 2015
170
184
171
Orange County, California
I've had my two little girls out, but protected in a smaller run, inside a large enclosure. Abigail is a barred rock, 5 years old. She stalks the little girls, pacing outside their run. And in the brief encounters we have attempted (with lots of treats all over the ground for distraction), Abigail will not be distracted. She attacks the little girls.

We tried to bring the littles out to the coop at night, but at 11 pm (and in the dark, except for a flashlight pointed at the ground), Abigail was awake. She pecked violently at one of the little girls and bit me -- and hung on! What the heck?!?!

I've decided that I need to let the bigs and littles out to free range in the yard with me tomorrow, but I will isolate Abigail. If you're going to isolate a bully for multiple days, do you also isolate them through the night?
 

thewatsonfarm

Songster
6 Years
5 Years
Mar 22, 2015
170
184
171
Orange County, California
400



The littles and bigs right before mayhem broke put this morning.
 

thewatsonfarm

Songster
6 Years
5 Years
Mar 22, 2015
170
184
171
Orange County, California
400


The little girls are getting way too big for the brooder! They are outside in a safe coop all day long, but still come in at night. They hate it & need to integrate & live outside full time with the big girls!
 

shortgrass

Crowing
Mar 14, 2015
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Northern Colorado
You might try making an enclosure within Abigail's space with the littles in it until they can get used to each other... Then give them a hiding spot to escape to if things get rough. I have a BR that is a head pecker; a real bully lol..she gets a "time out" by herself in a little pen if she gets too unruly. They will establish a pecking order eventually but it may be best to integrate slowly until the smalls can defend themselves or hide :)

Oh I just noticed you DO have them close by... Won't hurt to isolate Abigail for a couple days, she might get an "attitude" adjustment ;)
 
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thewatsonfarm

Songster
6 Years
5 Years
Mar 22, 2015
170
184
171
Orange County, California
They were separated, but in sight for 6 weeks. During that whole time, Abigail would pace outside of their run, intimidating them.

Yesterday I isolated Abigail In the small coop where the littles normally are. I let the little girls out to free range in the yard -- along with the other 2 big girls. The bigs and littles keep themselves separate, and there were no problems. It was lovely!

At night, though, the little girls came back inside in the brooder and Abigail went back in the coop with her sisters. Should I have kept her isolated even at night?
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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They were separated, but in sight for 6 weeks. During that whole time, Abigail would pace outside of their run, intimidating them.

Yesterday I isolated Abigail In the small coop where the littles normally are. I let the little girls out to free range in the yard -- along with the other 2 big girls. The bigs and littles keep themselves separate, and there were no problems. It was lovely!

At night, though, the little girls came back inside in the brooder and Abigail went back in the coop with her sisters. Should I have kept her isolated even at night?
If you're separating the chicks from the flock at night, no reason to separate the bully overnight.

If you're going to leave the chicks with the flock then to truly isolate the bully, so that when she rejoins the flock she is low bird on the totem pole, she should be kept out of sight 24/7 for at least 2-3 weeks. But then you might have an integration problem with her being bullied to severely.

There are lots of ways to try things that might work.....
.....maybe continue the daytime separation for a while, then let the bully out with all the birds and see what happens before resorting to more extreme measures?
 

thewatsonfarm

Songster
6 Years
5 Years
Mar 22, 2015
170
184
171
Orange County, California
Thank you, aart. I was kind of thinking the same thing. I don't want to punish Abigail. I doubt she can comprehend why she is being isolated. I feel bad for her.

Yesterday Abigail was isolated again for a few hours in the morning, while everyone else was out in the yard. Then we let her out to join the others, and she left the little girls alone! Huge relief! Maybe we will just continue this approach until they merge into one flock during the day. Then the littles can add leap with their big sisters.

Any idea how long it will take for two flocks to merge into one?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,281
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SW Michigan
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Thank you, aart. I was kind of thinking the same thing. I don't want to punish Abigail. I doubt she can comprehend why she is being isolated. I feel bad for her.

Yesterday Abigail was isolated again for a few hours in the morning, while everyone else was out in the yard. Then we let her out to join the others, and she left the little girls alone! Huge relief! Maybe we will just continue this approach until they merge into one flock during the day. Then the littles can add leap with their big sisters.

Any idea how long it will take for two flocks to merge into one?
Sounds good...keep trying.

They often never truly 'merge'....the littlers will always be lower in the order and the two groups will often continue to 'flock' separately .
Sometimes that changes as the youngers come into lay.

There's no pat answer, just continue observing and pull anyone for a time out who draws blood or traps and pecks.
 

MANNA-PRO

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