Any advice on how to deal with a bully?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DerbyChook, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fifi, my little white silkie is getting beat up by the big chickens. One in particular is very aggressive.

    Fifi was the only silkie and the only white chicken in the flock last year and got beat on pretty badly. They bloodied her eventually and I stopped letting the two flocks (my bantams and large fowl roost separately but share a run and free range together) out together. Then Fifi went broody and raised her chicks. This seemed to elevate her in the eyes of the big girls for a time and I let them free range together again, but now thinkgs are worse than ever.

    The alpha chicken, Lizzy, doesn't bully any other chickens, even the newer additions. It is only this particular silkie. I added more silkies this year thinking that would distract the bullies and make them less aggressive since there would be several similar looking chickens in the flock. It seemed to work for awhile, but now they are back at the same girl again.

    I let them out to free range together yesterday and watched for awhile. All seemed calm so I left them. When I came back out, someone had beat Fifi pretty bad. She has a bloody spot on her neck and is shaking her head. I can see where her bowls let lose down her backside, so she must have been pretty terrified. I locked her in the coop with the other bantams and offered treats which she took, so I think she is ok, just really shook up.

    So here is my dilemma. Do I pull the main bully out of the flock for a few days and see if that helps? If so, how does that work? I have an extra large dog crate. Do I put her in that in the run, or keep her totally separate in the garage? I know it has been posted here a million times, but I am not sure what to search under to find applicable threads.

    I could rehome the bully girl. She is a good layer and not aggressive to the other chickens so she would probably be ok in a new flock. Problem is, she is the instigator, but a few of the others will get in on the beating once she starts. I am afraid that the behavior might be ingrained in the other chickens, so getting rid of her might not fix the problem.

    An alternative, I can rehome Fifi with a friends flock that consists mostly of silkies where she will probably not be bullied. I am very fond of Fifi and she is a proven broody, so I would hate to lose her, but I can't risk another beating like the one she got yesterday. They might kill her next time [​IMG]

    So sad that it is coming to this. The flock is normally pretty mellow.
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Around here bullies = soup.
     
  3. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That may be the way to go. I am relatively new to chickens and a city person, so we have not butchered a chicken yet. But after seeing poor Fifi yesterday, I totally understand why that is an option.
     
  4. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

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    Apr 22, 2011
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    I know that it seems the Silkies are the ones to get picked on.

    I would really take the bully out, whether it is a Roo or Hen. It makes no difference. I have found over the years a bully is a bully.

    I have a hen that went bully and even though I really like her she is now in a pen/coop by herself, at least for a while. Isolating them sometimes gave them a attitude change, and sometimes it dies not.

    I certainly would not give up on it.

    Best of Luck
     
  5. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you could try to use the pinless peepers on the bully. They really work! I had to put them on all of our girls when we got our new silkie. They wanted to tear her apart. After about a month of wearing them I took them off and they were all friends.
     
  6. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The pinless peepers sound intriguing! I ordered a 10 pack. They are cheap enough that it is worth a try. I will keep the little silkie separate from the bigs and pull the bully out until they come.
     
  7. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    There is something a little off about Fifi, the silkie who is getting bullied. She has some slight neurological problem that causes her to walk a bit funny. But she is fine overall. She forages, lays and succeeded in incubating 10 fertile eggs and successfully raised the eight babies who hatched (there were purchased eggs, I wouldn't allow her to breed). So she is fine. But the list to her funny walk and the way she holds her head a tiny bit off center may be what is causing the aggression from the other chickens.
     

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