Bullied and shy

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RJL21313, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. RJL21313

    RJL21313 New Egg

    Mar 3, 2011
    I have a Americana that has been picked on by most of the others in the flock, She has her sister of the same breed and they get along fine. There are 2 black stars a buff orp and a polish crested that round out the group, one of the black stars the buff and polish seem to be the biggest culprits. They are all just a little over 2 years old, the bullying has left her with a large loss of feathers on her neck. Most recently she had become very shy and slow, we found her cowering in the corner on the top roost during the middle of the day. After this we started using our chicken tractor to seperate the 2 Americana's from the rest, we put the tractor about 2 feet away from the main run so they could still see each other. After a couple of days she seemed perkey and happy, we had been putting her back in the general population at night for sleeping. The last 2 days she and her sister have been back in the general population with no issues, this morning she was back to her shy and slow mode [​IMG]
    So here are my questions...

    Am I moving the wrong girls out of the main flock?

    She has watery poo, guessing from not eating. Are there any other thoughts?

    My wife had noticed her squatting this morning but nothing passing... thoughts?

    Coop size 6' x 8'
    Run size 8' x 12'
    feed is layer pellets
    adding oyster shell
    2 water containers to choose from
    we have been putting Rooster Booster Pick no more on her neck (she seems to be able to clean it off pretty quick) I could probably apply it more than I do... I'm slacking there
    her last egg was saturday (all of the girls except the black stars have been lazy this month)
    The biggest bullies are the buff and a black star, these two are who I would say are the top of order just not sure who #1 is.

    I just want to get a happy flock again, it is not fun when there is a sad chicken.
  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    I've had the same problem - my hens ganged up on the bottom hen, and seemed set on killing her. She lost a shocking amount of weight, she was afraid to go eat. I removed the ringleader and things are quieter, though she is still bullied sometimes.

    I had to carry her out to the food and guard her the first couple of days, until she got more confident. I'm still leaving food on top of the feed bin for her, so she can eat in peace.
  3. Blueicebird

    Blueicebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Watkins Glen
    My silkie and Americauna have the same problem. I am going to try moving my ring lead out for a bit and see if she stops leading the charge on the poor girls.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I have the same trouble with one of my Australorp girls. You just wish you could change things for them, but it is hard to do. My girl has taken to coming to me when they pick on her, as if I am out with them and they are picking on her, I step in. Now I have been bitten because of it, but I make sure she gets her share of the food, water and goodies. She is learning that I will protect her when I am out there. I can not be with them 24/7, but I do make frequent visits and I always make sure she is not being bullied too much.

    If the bullying gets too bad, I would remove the instigator first. Not the shy ones. That only reinforces the "head honcho". To deal with aggressive birds, you can separate the meany for a few weeks. And if she is really hard to deal with, give her solitary confinement. No friends, no anybody. I also keep quail and I have had to do this with a few females that were extremely aggressive. Usually the solitary confinement works. They come back to the flock not only the new bird, but the order of things has changed and the once "meany" is no longer the top bird.

    Make sure your shy birds eat. Very important! Set out several feeders if you have to. I have 3 of them set in different places so that everybody will get to eat and not starve. Same with the water.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  5. RJL21313

    RJL21313 New Egg

    Mar 3, 2011
    We have been moving the 2 most aggressive girls to the tractor during the day, so far so good...they are all sleeping in the coop at night and those 2 are the last to get let in. Maybe this weekend we will keep them all together and see if they can get along, if not we will keep the agressive girls in their own space. Maybe if the bullying keeps up the true instigator will show herself, if she does we can arrange for some solitary time.

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