Backyard Bullies


6 Years
Jul 15, 2013
Hello. We have 5 hens. Two are bantams and it seems two of the others are picking on them. Scratch is being picked on, but not to the point that she can't function. My poor Bella is so sweet, she doesn't fight back or protest when being picked on. The two bullies are Ivana Trump (a Black Moran) and Chicken Legs (Silver Laced Wyandotte). I have no experience raising chickens. My sweetie does. He thinks that maybe one (maybe both) of the bullies are getting close to the time that they'll begin to lay.

It breaks my heart to see her so afraid of the other birds that she isolates herself. The last couple of days, we've been isolating her. This morning, I caught Chicken Legs giving Bella a hard peck on the head. Poor Bella. She just kinda tried to make herself disappear. She's the sweetest bird ever.

Anyone with experience that can help? Do bantams normally need to be isolated from the other birds? Is there something we can do? I'm so worried about Miss Bella. She doesn't protest when being handled, but there has to be more that I can do besides hug her and kiss the top of her head. I'm so worried. I don't like seeing her so unhappy.

Scratch and Bella are buddies. Scratch is a little lazy and didn't like to go down for breakfast before 10am. Bella would normally go down and eat with the others while Scratch stayed in bed. Bella refuses to come down to eat now. She was so starved the other day when we first started isolating her. She ate like she hadn't eaten in days.
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A lot of people find it best to keep bantams and large fowl separate. Some say they do fine together. But every flock has its own dynamic.

A common approach to dealing with a single bully is to isolate the bird for a week or so, out of sight and hearing of the rest of the flock. The idea is, the "bully" will be at the bottom of the pecking order when reintroduced. of course, this is why removeing the one being attacked, while it may be necessary, also makes reintegrating difficult.

Good luck!

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