Bullied Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dwbees, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. dwbees

    dwbees Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2014
    Naylor, GA
    I have a serious bullying problem going on with my flock. My Initial flock was 1 Orpington, 1 Ameracauna, 1 Red Breasted Bantam. 2 days ago I added 3 Buff Brahma hens that were hatched together. The original 3 get along fine but since introducing the Brahmas the Ameracauna absolutely terrorizes all 3 of them, and even the Orpington chases them around to a lesser extent. The Brahmas will not defend themselves at all, they just huddle in a corner. Today the Brahmas went up to the roost to avoid the Ameracauna and she flew up there and pecked their feet to make them get off of it as well. Now I also have a Bantam rooster which I removed to a pen by himself some time ago because he was was picking on the Ameracauna and Orpington when his little Bantam hen was with him but not nothing terrible. I've considered putting him back in the pen with them all to keep the Ameracauna in check but not sure if that's a good idea or not. Any advice?

    The white one is the trouble maker.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Just adding new chickens to a flock will result in what you described. The existing flock is being territorial.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    1 person likes this.
  3. dwbees

    dwbees Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2014
    Naylor, GA
    Thank you, a lot of good information there.

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