Bald bully hen

USAmma

Songster
10 Years
Jul 26, 2009
187
21
128
I have mostly very nice girls that all get along. No males in the flock. Two of them, but one in particular, is a real bully. She's smaller than the rest. Whenever the coop is cleaned out (which is daily right now to control flies) she gets herself all worked up and starts picking on all the others. Whoever is in sight she will go after that one, and then that one runs away and she goes after another one. They all get bothered by her and she ends up hogging most of the enclosure with them all retreating upstairs. I have never seen anyone peck back at her. They just make annoyed noises and leave the area. This hen is completely bald on top. None of my quail has ever been scalped. This hen also has so many missing feathers on her back that you can see skin, and the rest of her feathering looks terrible. And yet I have never seen anyone pick on her. What I end up doing is separating her out until after dark and then I put her back in, and the rest of the day until coop cleaning goes well. But it starts over again the next day. The lesser bully will step up and be a bully sometimes, but only when the other one is in solitary confinement.

So why is she bald/missing feathers?


Is there a long-term solution for this bully and her friend the lesser bully?


I was thinking of clipping the end of the beak to discourage her from pecking. I clip my parrots' beaks so I know how to do it safely. Just blunt it down- maybe the quail will feel disadvantaged and stop pecking and picking so much at others?
 

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
331
251
SF Bay Area, California
She isn't the problem, other than she's smaller/weaker than the rest. You probably just aren't seeing it but she's getting bullied not being the bully. The other birds are scalping her. dominant hens will mount less hens just like a rooster does. Most likely they see her as a detriment to their flock, or a waste of their food. I don't really try to fix social groups, I just move the bird to another group or eat it, so I can't be much help on solving the problem.
 

USAmma

Songster
10 Years
Jul 26, 2009
187
21
128
She isn't the problem, other than she's smaller/weaker than the rest. You probably just aren't seeing it but she's getting bullied not being the bully. The other birds are scalping her. dominant hens will mount less hens just like a rooster does. Most likely they see her as a detriment to their flock, or a waste of their food. I don't really try to fix social groups, I just move the bird to another group or eat it, so I can't be much help on solving the problem.
That actually makes a lot of sense. Thanks
 

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