BSL Bully

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by galaxy, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. galaxy

    galaxy In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2013
    Would love to have you weigh in on this...I have 4 hens. One 2.5 year old buff orpington who is a total sweetheart, one black sex link that is 1.5 yr old and my best layer, one 6 month old barred rock and one 6 month old rhode island red. One of the two youngers is laying pullet eggs daily as of this week. We have an awesome run and coop setup that the older girls have been living in since July, even in our cold WI winters it works great! Everyday we put the little ones in a small run next to the big girls so they would get used to each other. Eventually we let them all wander in the yard unobstructed again to get "acquainted." Now that the temperature is dropping we cannot leave the younger girls outside unattended and have resorted to keeping them in a large dog crate in the garage and left the other two outside in our run/coop...where they have always lived. Here is my black sex link is a bully! Whenever she sees the youngers she attacks them. Even chasing them all the way off of our property. Initially we thought she was attacking because the younger would try to eat something she wanted or whatever...but last time they were out she just kept running one of the girls down over and over even when we interrupted and offered her a distraction. I am genuinely worried we won't get all 4 to live together. I can't stand the thought of the 2 living in our garage...just goes against why we have chickens to begin with. I am reluctant to re-home the BSL because she is my best layer AND my son loves her to death...we hatched her. If I have to I will though, so if that is my only option let me know. The other thing we tried after all the other attempts was to just put the 3 (BO and 2 youngers) in the coop and that went PERFECTLY! So what do I do? I am open to the current living arrangement through this winter if absolutely necessary and anyone things that would help (time)...but obviously would rather not...just not fun for those two young birds. Would love folks to weigh in...especially BSL owners...just don't know if it's a breed issue or what. Thanks in advance.
  2. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    I have 2 BSL they are fine.
    You can try either putting her alone for a few weeks.
    or use anti pecking spray. or try "Bumpa Bit" or beak trimming
    If I was you I would go for beak trimming
    1 person likes this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Dealing with a bully is always a tough problem. It's a pecking order issue, basically.

    At age six months, your two youngsters should be able to handle themselves all right if given the chance to figure out where they stand with this BSL bully. There are ways to assist them, though. You'll need a squirt gun, or a paddle on a long handle. What you are going to do is interrupt the bully in her quest to bully. Each time you see her take off after the youngsters, interrupt her forward progress by thrusting the paddle in between her and her target. Or fire off a blast of water with the squirt gun.

    Or you can simply holler "NO!" very loudly. Any of these methods falls under the category of aversion therapy. Soon, your bully will probably not want to go after the youngsters because it's just so unpleasant to do so.

    If you can't invest the time required for this, then you could try taking the bully out of the pecking order for a week or two. Place her in a crate out of sight of the other three. When she is reintroduced to the flock, she will probably not have the self confidence any longer to be a bully, and the two youngsters will have developed their self confidence in her absence and will be more likely to stand up to her bullying.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I think I would try pulling the bully out for several weeks as azygous said. It's often hard to integrate one or two new birds into such a small flock. If the coop is also small it makes it even harder. Pull her out for a while, then let her out with them during the day, see if her attitude is any better. I'd be concerned about cooping the new youngsters with her if she doesn't settle down. Pecking order issues are one thing, bullying and aggressive behavior quite another.
  5. galaxy

    galaxy In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2013
    Thank you all for the comments. I will admit I am too much a novice to know for sure if it's pecking order or bullying...though to be honest I am leaning toward bullying. She attacks for seemingly no good she is looking for a fight. The buff has had to take her on a couple times and fortunately can hold her own. The BSL is just so so skittish...even for a chicken ;-) It seems to be a personality thing with her. I will try beak trimming for sure and possibly having her "sit out" a couple of weeks. Thank you all so much! Love BYC!!

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