Black Plymouth Rocks...Roo or Hen

BillyDaDad

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2020
14
36
33
So the consensus is all pullets. That's a relief in one way and a difficulty in another. One of our ladies has become the target of a lot of aggression. We've removed her from the flock and have her in a side pen (40in x 28in wire dog crate) alongside the main pen because she was bleeding from the "attention". We then put her in a smaller but still large enough plastic dog crate at night that sits on top of our current chicken run (about 5 ft off of the ground). We're re-purposing dog crates that we still have from when our German Shepherd was a pup.

We've tried to re-introduce her into the flock but she gets attacked by up to 4 birds at once when we do. How long do I keep her out in order to keep the others from attacking her when she is re-introduced?

I've actually been considering removing the 4 birds who attack her when we return her to the flock and letting them be in side pens for a bit so they should be brought down a few notches in the process.

As for Bird 2, I guess she is super weird and is rather agressive. The Sickle feathers plus her aggression are what made me start to think she might be a male. Maybe this thing about naming them with calm names has something to it. Her(?) name is widow...which I think my kids got from Black Widow. She had more of the sickle feathers but our pen is a little too small. We have 10 birds in a pen that consists of a 3ft x 6ft under coop space plus a 10ft x 6 ft attached run. I feel like they're a bit crowded but I haven't been able to expanded it yet. The original plan was that there would be 12 birds in an 8ft x 16ft run with attached coop by now but life happened.

Any advice on how to return my flock to a peaceful status would be appreciated.
 

OneHappyRooster

Crowing
Apr 5, 2020
4,757
8,731
363
This Side Of The Galaxy
I usually separate the aggressor(s) not the birds being bullied.
With four ganging at once, however, that's a bit harder for you.
I personally would separate her with one other flockmate. One that is less of a bully, if possible. They will bond, and she hopefully will have less trouble reintegrating.
If she's bleeding, definitely watch those other birds.
 

BillyDaDad

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2020
14
36
33
After a couple of days separated she's not bleeding any more. I've been contemplating letting the flock roam the yard today and introducing her during that roam. That way they're less stressed as she is re-introduced. Bonus is that it'll be easier to intervene because I don't have to deal with crouching in the 5 ft tall pen.
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
3,149
4,727
306
USA
We have 10 birds in a pen that consists of a 3ft x 6ft under coop space plus a 10ft x 6 ft attached run. I feel like they're a bit crowded but I haven't been able to expanded it yet. The original plan was that there would be 12 birds in an 8ft x 16ft run with attached coop by now but life happened.
Are you saying they have a coop? Or that they shelter under a coop but without having access to it? (This being summer, that could be fine, but I'm just trying to figure this out.)

So 3x6 =18 and 10x6=60, making 78 square feet total for 10 birds, which is 7.8 per bird. A bit smaller than the recommended 10 square feet per adult bird in the run, but they are not quite adults yet either, so I agree that it's a bit small.

Giving them more things to do can help. For example, if you have a compost pile, you could shovel it into their run--digging through it for goodies can keep them busy for quite a while! (Or you could just start piling all new compost-type material in their run, for a similar effect.)

Any advice on how to return my flock to a peaceful status would be appreciated.
More space or less birds would be the obvious long-term fix.
(Permanently removing the one that was picked on, or permanently removing the bullies, would probably help quite a bit.)
In the short term, an additional run and/or some distractions in the pen might help. Or just housing several birds separately, so there are less birds in that amount of space.
 

BillyDaDad

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2020
14
36
33
Thank you for the advice.

Yes they have a coop. The coop has a 6ft x 3 ft footprint with essentially three levels.

Level 1 (on the ground) is open on two sides (North and West) and enclosed on the other two. It is between 18 inches and 2 ft tall and was designed to give the girls a place to get out of the sun in the summer and stay out of the rain/snow year round.

Level 2 is about 2 ft tall as well and has really turned into just a pausing place before going up the internal ramp to level 3. I am planning to add nesting boxes to the side of Level 2 this week. I am a bit concerned that they may opt to not use them though since they'll only be 2-3 ft off of the ground.

Level 3 has a sloped roof so it is probably 2.5 ft tall at one side and close to 4 ft tall on the other. It slopes on the 3ft side so that the long face is flat on the North and South. They have 2 - 6ft roosts mounted inside on level 3 about 18 in above the Level 3 floor. Also a 4 x 1ft window covered with chicken wire on the South Facing wall at about the same height as the roosts. The window opens upward and latches out flat.

So essentially they have 36 sq ft of internal "floor" space in the coop right now, but they really only use the upper 18 sq ft. I have considered another window on the South facing wall of Level 2, but that would be in the way of where I was planning to mount my nesting boxes. I am planning on 4 nesting boxes in this coop to get us by while the other one is constructed. (Actually I wasn't planning on any in this coop. Unfortunately things have kept me from building them a new coop and and I think we're getting too close to laying time now for them to not have a nesting area this week.)

It was originally designed to sit against a 5 ft tall concrete side wall of our car-port. So the design isn't really ideal for its new space, but having a coop and pen that are not ideal is better than not having a coop and pen.
Coop North Side.jpg


Coop South Side.jpg


Coop Level 2.jpg


Coop Level 3.jpg
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom