Bullied hen in backyard flock.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Vickery, May 26, 2017.

  1. Vickery

    Vickery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2013
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    Hi All,:frow
    I have a 1 year old EE that is being bullied by the other flock members. Thanks for any help you can offer here. The flock consists of 11 hens, a large coop and run, and no indication of any health problems in the hen which is being picked on.

    Here's the deal...initially the hen-pecked girl rarely came out of the nesting box and I thought she was just broody but then I began noticing that a couple of the other girls were pecking and attacking her so she would fly up on the roost or high tail it back into the coop/nesting box. They don't let her eat or drink so I put her outside alone several times a day, and I never give "treats" to the group as a whole if she is present (she won't mix in to even try anyway). She has always been timid. Today I noticed that some of the others are going after her as well ( I thought it was just a few).

    I figure if I put her in another coop for a time, she will remain the outsider and the situation will return.

    If I put the bullying suspects in another coop, the others may still pick on her (?). Do y'all think this will resolve eventually? My husband suggested culling her:hit but I figure they may just find another to bully (?).

    Any ideas? They free-range 3-6 hours each day so they aren't in the run all day...but she NEVER comes out unless I force her too, and then she just runs back to the coop/nesting box. WHAT TO DO?????:he

    PLEASE HELP!:bow
    Thanks, Sincerely, Vickery.
     
  2. theduckdoc

    theduckdoc Just Hatched

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    Feb 7, 2010

    I would segregate the hen until her feathers
     
  3. theduckdoc

    theduckdoc Just Hatched

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    Feb 7, 2010
    I would segregate the poor girl, or pen her with one or a few of the other ladies who are not challenging her so they can form their own flock. If they are getting along, give it some time before reintroducing them. It's important to work the buddy system so no one gets singled out. How long have the girls been together? Is this the first laying season since you've had them? Are they broody right now? If so they are more temperamental and likely to pick on each other. Once the mating season settles down and their hormones are in check, they will likely be more accepting. Being cooped up rather than free ranging also increases their aggression towards each other. I have a dozen hens sharing an enclosure who, last year, targeted and scalped one of their sisters. I separated her for a few months until her feathers grew back and reintroduced her. Their was a bit of dominance pecking upon introduction, but she's been fine ever since. So it is possible to overcome the problem, given that their isn't something wrong with the hen that the other chickens sense, as they will attack one that is physically compromised, even if they've been housed together long term. Otherwise, I would not cull the poor girl, but rather offer her to someone who can provide more appropriate accommodations. There are always people willing to adopt hens. I would offer to take her if I were closer (in Phoenix area). I see you're in NV. There's a sanctuary called "The Farm" in Vegas. Maybe you could appeal to them if you can't work it out.
     
  4. Vickery

    Vickery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2013
    Carson City, NV
    Thanks duckdoc! Great advice. we are actually no where near Las Vegas...northern Nevada where they don't grow buildings!!! I have my original coop from before I figured out that I really like raising chickens and needed more! It is quite nice so I think I will have to move the cat out of there and put a few of the girls back in!!! There's nothing wrong with her...other than the fact that she isn't getting enough food most likely. She even dust baths and scratches around when I force her outside! Hopefully this post will help someone else in the future! (my feed store manager suggested I sit out in the run and squirt the offenders with a water gun...seriously???!!!) Thanks again...Happy Summer! Vickery.
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    Northern Colorado
    I sold my bullies. My poor Brahma was acting like your gal. They were gone two solid weeks before she started coming forward for treats.

    I am glad you have a second coop she can be safe in.
     
  6. alexa009

    alexa009 Overrun With Chickens

    Our Easter egger hen is also last in the pecking order. The others will usually pick on her consistently. We had ordered baby chicks in the late winter early spring. Now they are 3 1/2 months and our Easter egger is a full grown hen. Since our Easter egger is a lot older she is boss over the the younger pullets so it makes her feel better. Our younger birds have a little area run under the coop though where it is fenced in so we just let the younger ones in and they have their food and water under there. I am happy because it makes it a lot easier for them.
     
  7. ajpisciotta

    ajpisciotta Just Hatched

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    I am having same problem, all my hens were raised together (a little over a year old) two weeks ago I noticed that one of my hens was getting attacked by more than one hen, she has no more feathers on her head!
    I thought she was broody, because she would not leave laying box, one day while collecting eggs, (she was in layer box again) i witnessed 2 hens attacking her at the same time, I moved her to a separate pen at that time, for three days.
    After three days I moved her back with other hens, today I noticed bulling happening again, and of course, have separated her again.
    I have a total of 14 hens, a large run that is 50' x 100' ...any recommendations?
     
    gmebrie3 likes this.

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