And then there was Peace in the land and all is good

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Darklingstorm, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I have 14 chickens of mixed breeds and age, of those, 3 are SLW hens and 1 Welsummer pullet, none of them are the Alpha hen. These four are my trouble makers. The 3 SLW picked on the newest members every chance they got, I knew it was pecking order stuff but they terrorized the younger ones so much that the little ones stayed in the run to hide. Every time they even saw the little ones they would chase them down. I have a huge yard and they free range, I also have a run that I can lock them in, so space is not an issue. I actually saw them chase the little ones from one side of the yard to the other and pecked them at every chance. I also watched on a couple occasions were the main flock would be foraging and 1 SLW would go and look for the young ones, attack them, then go back to the flock like nothing happened. These 3 are also escape artists even with a wing clipped. They learned to jump up to the top of the fence and walk to get out of the yard, it's no wonder that one was killed by a dog and another escaped death twice from getting into the dog kennel.
    The Welsummer is the bully of the little ones (now 19 weeks old). She would stand in the middle of the feeder and attack anyone trying to eat. I know this is pecking order thing too but then she started to target my 2 EE's. She refused to let them eat at all and they had to wait till she was out of the run or distracted. She would knock them off the roost or out of a nest box and peck them often.
    Now all the others, including the 1 cockerel, get along. They eat together and hang out together peacefully, when the 4 are distracted.

    The 4 are all going to a new home tomorrow (let them fight it out there). So tonight I went out after dark and removed the 4 and 1 extra (she has a squirrel tail and I didn't want to bred her next year). I hadn't even closed up the coop completely when the little ones jumped up and joined the other big girls on the roost (the 3 SLW refused to let them roost and they were sleeping in the nest boxes). There was very little fussing as they all scooted and readjusted to the change, then all was quiet.

    I was originally reluctant to remove the 4 but now I know I made the right choice. Now I can enjoy sitting out back and watching the peaceful flock, instead of the WWE flock.
  2. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Did your girls watch the movie "Mean Girls"? [​IMG] I am glad all mine get along. I have 2 SLW hens and 6 sex links. When the sex links got big enough to go outside, I just put their cage in the coop. The SLW hens tried to bully them through the cage wire, but couldn't get to them. After a couple of weeks, I opened the cage door. The young pullets would take refuge in their old cage to get away from the mean hens and I left it in there until they no longer needed their "security cage". [​IMG] There was no hunt-them-down-and-peck-them like you described. It sounds like you are doing the right thing to bring peace in your flock. [​IMG]
  3. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I'll be integrating 9 young pullets in with the larger laying flock within the next couple weeks. I sure hope none of mine act like that! So glad everything is peaceful in your coop now. :)

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