Bullied chicken now won't roost with the others

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazychick26201, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2013
    West Virginia
    Ok. I separated my Injured chicken within sight of the others in a chicken tractor for two days until her comb healed. Today I put her back with the flock and took the bully out. She seemed to have a fairly good day, but this evening when it was time to go to roost, she perched on the outdoor roost inside the run. Another chicken joined her. They are in no danger because the run is I closed and padlocked. However what has happened to my happy little family? I have four chickens. As of tonight one is in a cage in the basement (the bully), one is on the roost in the coop alone (the bully's friend), and two are on the outdoor roost. HELP! What should I do?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If they were mine I'd leave them alone and let them work it out. Hopefully in time they will return to a normal roosting pattern, but since your run is safe, I don't see any reason to try to change their behavior. Things will change again when you return the bully to the flock, anyway.
  3. smlfarmer

    smlfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2013
    my hens all slept on a shelf above the laying boxes from spring to fall and only started using the perch when we turned on the heat for winter and then they perched right under the heater - now they sleep on it all the time
  4. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2013
    West Virginia
    Ok. Last night they all went in the coop to roost. When we checked them, Henrietta, the head honcho was first on the roost, with Miss Roo, the bullied one nestled under her wing! I did not know chickens could exhibit such protective behavior.

    However, we returned the bully to the flock this morning after two days I. Isolation. Within 3 seconds, she went for Miss Roo. Now I am sitting in the run shaking a red can at her when she runs after Miss Roo. But I wonder if I did not leave the bully out long enough. Any suggestions? I want to let them work it out, but I am worried that Miss Roo might get killed if we have to lock them in the coop and go anywhere. The bully is the littlest chicken, but she is a feisty one. In isolation ahe filled her watered up with dirt three times, and buried her feeding dish. Her whole personality has changed since she started laying, a couple of weeks ago. On the other hand, Miss Roo has not developed a full comb yet, and is not laying.

    How long do I let working it out go?
  5. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2013
    West Virginia
    Could someone please help me? This is driving me nuts! I have achieved peace with 3 of the flock, but the isolated bully is getting agitated and tonight she attacked me. She wants to be back with the flock so bad, but when we tried to introduce her after two days in isolation, she went for the weakest chick again. So she is out again.
  6. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2012
    North GA
    I have a similar situation going on with some young Roos bullying a hen to the point that she hid out in the woods around the pasture at dusk and it took me a couple of days to find her. I have one young hen that is tiring to leap frog to the top of the pecking order but thankfully so far she is a lot of bark with no bite.

    I have a couple of very simple rules with my flock.

    1.) attacking ME unprovoked (and by this I mean a full on attempt at maiming me not a peck at my hand because they are feeling frightened) means you go in my freezer or get re-homed to someone who doesn't mind bleeding.

    2.) any Roo that kills or makes a serious attempt to kill a hen goes in the freezer. I won't even re-home those.

    With hens fighting hens, I am a little more lenient. I have found that I can separate an aggressive hen from the flock for a while. I usually do that for a couple of weeks at least. It's also important that you establish dominance over the hen. Secure her head with on hand and gently but firmly press down on her back until she flattens out. Don't let her up until she gets quiet and then pet her and talk to her and make it a pleasant outcome. Do it every time you feed, water, have occasion to go near her. Eventually when you put your hand on her she will just sit down to let you pet her. She should calm down around the other birds if you are successful wit this. The one caveat is that most hens I've done this with tend to swarm around me everywhere I go but better that than injuries.

    As far as their ability to exhibit compassion...my hens raised a stray orphaned kitten. It was a feral little thing. I mean couldn't catch it with a can of tuna feral. It took me a solid month of feeding her to be able to even touch her another month of working with her before I could really pet her. The hens AND my mature Roosters would circle around her when she napped and I swear to heaven I saw a hen FEED the kitten an egg. Cracked it open in front of the kitten and sat there while she ate it which is wicked weird considering they don't feed their own chicks!

    Thy kitten literally roosted with the month old chicks on the rungs in the run during the day and bedded down in the main coop at dark with the older birds. One of my roosters flogged my jack russell when she treed the kitten one day. Coolest thing ever!

    The kitten now lives inside and still will let no one touch her but me. She like a normal cat with me but I guess will always be a little wild. Solid black ...Katniss Salem McGonagall is her name. :D

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