Aggressive chicken - should I re-home?

Phoebe_here

Songster
May 24, 2022
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Hello, I have a problem pullet. She is at the top of the pecking order - likes to peck me too! - and terrorises my youngest birds which I keep separately from the older ones.

I experimented with letting the youngest join the group of older pullets - and problem bird immediately attacked. Biting (not just pecking) on the neck and not letting go 😭 Obviously I made a mistake and am still keeping them separated.

She also sprints at, and do flying kicks at, other older pullets.

Does she think she is a rooster? Will she stop asserting her authority? Should I consider re-homing?

I’m quite attached to my littlest, most vulnerable birds, and would hate to see them go. If I rehome the problem bird, will another one become aggressive to take the place of top of the pecking order?

Thanks,

Phoebe.
 
Thanks for your advice.

DobieLover, my pen is 20 square feet. I have now started leaving the gate open so they are free to roam in the garden (1400 square feet) and return if they choose.

I’m bringing them inside at night, because it’s cold, but want them to graduate to my outdoor coop at night. It’s 27.5 square feet on the ground level and 10 square feet on the upstairs bedding level.

How many chooks do you think would be comfortable in those spaces?

I’d be happy to re-home her (him?). BlindLemonChicken, I think you might be right about this chicken being a jerk. It is a Buff Sussex. I have two of those. And the other one is the sweetest little thing ever. I’m taking quite a disliking to The Terror / Problem Chook.
 

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Do they get full access to both levels both day and night? 10 sq ft in the coop (what you call the bedding level) is good for 2 1/2 standard size hens. I don't see a roost in the run space so as it currently stands it really doesn't work as an alternate sleeping spot if the bully bird is keeping others from roosting with her.

Actually now that I look more closely, is there a roost in the upper level?
 
Do they get full access to both levels both day and night? 10 sq ft in the coop (what you call the bedding level) is good for 2 1/2 standard size hens. I don't see a roost in the run space so as it currently stands it really doesn't work as an alternate sleeping spot if the bully bird is keeping others from roosting with her.

Actually now that I look more closely, is there a roost in the upper level?
Oh no. I was hoping it would be comfortable for more hens.

They have access to both levels day and night. I could put more roosts in both levels.

The run - they roam in my garden (around 1400 square feet).
 
Run space isn't an issue if they get to free range all day. But tighter confinement at night might be making her act up a bit, hard to say.

One thing you might try is to remove her from the flock completely for a few days (cage her elsewhere, like the garage) and see if that knocks her down a few pegs.
Yes, that’s worth a try! Thanks for the suggestion.
 
I had a pullet that was aggressive until I added a rooster to the flock (they were almost a year old before I added him) She liked to peck me when I entered the run & it hurt like the dickens.She changed after I added a rooster & is happier now.She's still bossy to the other hens.
More comfortable one down the pecking order! How interesting.
 

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