Black Star not coping well with isolation

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickentvforme, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. chickentvforme

    chickentvforme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have been trying to integrate two flocks together. For the most part they are doing well. However I have one hen that is picking on one of the younger hens. I've tried free ranging them to give more space and nothing seems to keep Gertie from going after Precious. I've had to clean up a bloody head once when Precious got trapped in a small space with Gertie. So last night I put Gertie in solitary for a few days to help give Precious some establishing time. Gertie is now living in a huge dog crate (think St. Benard size) in the garage. I checked on her this morning and she is not coping well. She is panting and making noise. How do I handle this? Will she calm down on her own? If I put her back with the flock I risk losing Precious. Help! Trying to do a good job but feeling stressed myself.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Separating birds is always a pain, but it is a fairly successful practice. But the choice is either that, or culling the aggressive bird, or culling the submissive bird. It won't kill Gertie to be there. Do not think that you are punishing Gertie, she is not smart enough for that concept. What you are doing is making her a stranger to the other birds, so that they will attack her when she comes back in. The theory, is that she will be so busy defending herself, that she won't have time to pick on the submissive bird. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    You do need to watch the flock carefully now, because sometimes a strange thing will happen, another bird will begin to pick on the submissive bird. If that happens, it is often an indicator that something is wrong physically with the submissive bird. If this happens you need to cull this bird, and get on with things.

    Flocks are tricky to blend together, and some don't ever fit. When combining your flock, you really need more space than the suggested 4 feet in the coop, especially this time of year, when they are roosted up in the coop due to the long dark nights. Measure your space and count the total head. Even if you free range, in the winter, that is a small amount of the day. Mine are roosting up at just a little past 3:30 these past few days.


    Sometimes the change is enough to make a bird become aggressive. Sometimes a couple of days will work, but often times when you put them back together, you are back to the original problem in days. The thing is, while this is just between two birds, it causes tension in the whole flock. You may have to do some culling to get a peaceful flock.

    You may have to cull one bird or the other. It is the tough part of chicken keeping, wishing they just would all get along, does not always work! Ugh!

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it's hot there, you could put a fan on her. Good luck!
     
  4. chickentvforme

    chickentvforme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much. Just the support and telling me what to expect is very helpful!! Gertie is not hot since it was 29 degrees here in Alabama last night. I have heard that RIR type breeds are known to have some tude. I'm hoping some alone time will straighten her out. She is a great egg layer so hate to have to cull her over the polish. However Precious is well....precious. Maybe rehoming a hen won't be too hard. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    What sort of noise? Just check there isn't a lot of dust / mould in there. We had one would react very badly to sawdust dust, breathing very noisily and mouth breathing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You might try putting the isolation crate in the coop and/or run...at least during the day.
    That way she can see her flock, but not be able to attack.
    She is probably just stressed at being removed and alone, stress can cause panting.
    The vocalizations may be her calling for the flock because she can't see them.
     
  7. dlp40

    dlp40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My blk star was a problem in much the same way this june. I put her in a sm cat carrier in the shade with water. She stayed pretty calm guessing due to the sm size of the cage. But after 1 day and night, she went back to the flock with a little beter attitude. No more search and destroy more move or i peck your once or twice. Good luck
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    When I need to segregate a trouble maker, I put them in a cage or in a pen in the run so the rest of the flock can still interact with them. This way, they normally don't lose their rank in the pecking order or become lonely.

    Another alternative is to place the victim in a safe pen in the run for a couple weeks. I've seen this work wonders for their self confidence, and they emerge after this rest much more able to deal with the pecking order.

    When a chicken holds their beak slightly open, it can mean they are over-heated, but it almost always signifies they are stressed and upset.
     
  9. chickentvforme

    chickentvforme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well Gertie is no longer stressed although probably still mad. Lol. She is eating and drinking and laying like normal. The flock is so peaceful without her and no blood has been shed since she went to chicken prison. I was going to keep her there until after Christmas (this weekend) and try her back in with the flock. Anyone tried rehoming hens? Is it easier than roosters? We named her so culling is out of the question.
     
  10. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, rehoming hens is easier. Glad your flock is peaceful. I had to rehome a hen I named Velociraptor when she wouldn't quit trying to kill my silkies. It was so nice after she was gone.
     

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