Aggressive Wyandotte toward mt D'Uccle

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CherylNJ, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. CherylNJ

    CherylNJ Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2015
    Ocean County, New Jersey
    Hey folks,

    I am having a problem with my Wyandotte suddenly now being very aggressive toward my D'Uccle. They were purchased at 4 week old chicks (they are now all about 8 months) and have lived in harmony until a few weeks ago_Of course we have our hierarchy. My Brahma is the boss, my Red Rock is the worry wart, my Jersey Gold is laid back and goes with the flow, my D'Uccle is a little chatter box that seems to have the "blonde girl" syndrome and then there is our Wyandotte, she has always been aloof, nonsocial and standoffish. She will seek out the D'Uccle and give a good solid peck on the head and sometimes she will grab a hold of her neck, jump on her back and shake her like a dog would. She leaves the other chickens alone and just targets the little one.. The D'Uccle has become very nervous and avoids her like the plague but she will run across the run just to peck her. I am really worried for her safety.

    Is this just typical chicken behavior and I should just let it run its course? As much as I do not want to get rid of her I will for the safety of my D'UIccle. She is a decent layer, about 1 every other day where as my D'Uccle has only laid 2 to date but she is such a social little bird and is so sweet.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    She has reached the age where the pecking order is very important in the coop. In the pecking order, the D'uccle is on the bottom rung. The Wyandotte is next to the bottom. The way the pecking order works is, the Wyandotte will continually remind your D'uccle that she is on the bottom of the list.

    I am going to assume your D'uccle is much smaller than the Wyandotte. This could be a problem. Be sure the Wyandotte does not kill the D'uccle with her bullying.

    In my experience, Wyandottes have always been my flock bullies. I will never own another one.
     
  3. CherylNJ

    CherylNJ Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2015
    Ocean County, New Jersey
    We are seriously thinking about giving her away. None of my other chickens are aggressive like that. She is the 2nd smallest. Out of my 5 she is the least social. I will never own another one. Out of all my birds, I specifically picked her and paid the most for her. Our D'Uccle was a last minute addition and is by far our favorite,
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I bought Silver Laced Wyandottes be cause I think they are beautiful. I wanted light brown eggs for my egg buyers. (I have hens that lay blue-green-dark brown-cream-white eggs.) makes a beautiful dozen eggs.
    They did lay a light brown/pinkish egg, but customers didn't want them because they were smaller in size. And nothing prepared me for how they moved through the flock like a pack of sharks making the entire flock miserable. After they were removed from the flock, egg production actually went up. Like I said, never again!
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    From your small picture in the avatar, it looks like your run might be a large open rectangle. If this is not the case, disregard the rest of this post.

    If it is a large open rectangle, breaking up the direct line of sight might help. By placing a pallet or a scrap piece of plywood, in the middle of the run, like a small wall, can allow birds to get out of sight from each other. A pallet leaned up against the wall can do the same thing. A pallet up on blocks high enough so that birds can stand under it and on top of it, actually increases the square footage of the run. Make sure that these do not create traps, there should be two ways to escape. A roost in the run is also a great addition, it allows birds to get away from each other.

    In chicken society, the lower bird needs to move away and out of sight of the dominant bird. When there is no place to do that, the upper bird continues to show aggression to prove her point.

    Sometimes adding these to the run will help. However, I agree with the above posts, tension in the flock is not a good thing. You might pull her, and see if the flock settles down. If it does, then cull her. You might also take a head count, and measure your set up, as you might just have 1 too many birds for the space.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  6. CherylNJ

    CherylNJ Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2015
    Ocean County, New Jersey
    The picture in my avatar is just a tractor run we used until we could increase the size of the attached run. My coop is 4x4 and the run is 14x4 including the area under the coop. Another whole coop redesign and run is in the works but it will have to wait till spring.

    We allow our chickens to free range on the weekends when we are home but due to predators we can't during the week. We have no other aggression issues with any other chicken in our flock of 5. They have established a hierarchy but other that the typical feather ruffling and chest puffing no one gets hurt.

    I will try adding areas for her to hide in. I will also have to add another water bucket since I only have one. We keep the feeders in the coop, I have 2 of them so there is ample space. She seems to attack only when they are in the run and when we toss down treats or they are drinking. They roost together fine and even free range together fine.

    I try to give them different things to occupy their time. We feed them crumble instead of pellets for longer feeding time, I hang cabbage, apples or pomegranates from a string so they have something to peck, I put buckets and pumpkins in the run for their curiosity.

    I have messaged the farm where we got our chicks to see if they would take her back.
     
  7. CherylNJ

    CherylNJ Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2015
    Ocean County, New Jersey
    Thought I read somewhere in this forum that taking the problem bird out of the cage for a few days and then re introducing them to shuffle the pecking order. I'd rather do that first before getting rid of her as she is a beauty and a good layer. But I don't want to sacrifice the health and safety of my other birds expecially my d'uccle by her bullying. Do you think that would work in this instance?
     
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Your coop is very, very small for 5 birds, the run is a small space as well. But until you are able to build your new coop in the spring it is what it is. I would pull that aggressive bird out for an extended time out. Give it a week or two. Then put her back and see how things go. Given the small space they are in she may start right back where she left off.

    I was interested to read the comments about aggressive Wyandottes. I've only ever had two in the flock which I have right now, Columbian 'Dottes, and they have been great birds. Not the least bit aggressive, just friendly, funny, goofy birds who seem to fit right into the flock. For me it's always been Rhode Island Reds that were the trouble makers.
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    It could work, actually it should work since you only have one Wyandotte.

    In my case, it didn't work but I had several of them.

    You can always try to see if it would work. If you separate her, you will have the best luck if you have a place where your other hens cannot hear or see her.
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    I don't keep bantam with large fowl, especially in small confined places, bantams aren't as boisterous as large fowl and can be seriously hurt or even killed by larger birds, people say certain breeds are meaner, I think it's certain breeds shouldn't be kept in confined coops, my Wyandotte have never bullies, my RIR are fine, you may get rid of one bird and cause a new problem, the best option is to keep bantam with other bantam.
     

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