Bully Chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NClark, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. NClark

    NClark New Egg

    Oct 10, 2014

    I know this has been asked before, but I think my situation has a unique twist. I have 4 chickens, and one has become a bully. Freebird, the bully, started a hard molt while the others did not molt. She became very aggressive to one chicken in particular. She jumps on this chicken's back and pecks her head really hard. I think she's trying to kill the other chicken. Freebird had been separated for more than two weeks, and I tried to reintegrate her. Everything was fine for 5 or ten minutes, and then the attacks started. Freebird actually chases and attacks this other hen throughout the run and coop. She's regrowing feathers now, but is still not back to normal.

    The chickens have 50 square feet of run space and 20 square feet of coop space. Everyone is healthy, and they were happy prior to Freebird's molt.

    Will this situation ever correct itself? So far time apart has not worked at all.

    I should also note that this behavior started while we were on vacation. They were well fed and cared for while we were gone.

    Any suggestions are appreciated?
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    If two weeks in isolation didn't mitigate the bullying behavior, probably you're stuck with this bad little egg.

    You might try pinless peepers. Or permanent isolation. Or culling.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The change of you being gone on vacation could well have caused some stress that triggered this behavior.
    'Fixing' this new habit is a crap shoot.

    What are you feeding?
    Can you post pics of your coop and run?

    Space sounds a bit tight (even tho it's that 'rule of thumb') and can cause problems, as your finding.
  4. NClark

    NClark New Egg

    Oct 10, 2014
    This is our coop and part of the run. It's 4x7, and there's another portion of run that is comes off the back, which is 4x8.

    I'm feeding them Purina Layena pellets and mealworms. I started giving Freebird some tuna too to increase her protein intake, and she's had some flock blocks pieces too. I have two food locations, one water.

    I think the stress of molting, lack of sufficient protein, and vacation changes created this issue. I'm thinking of trying pinless peepers?
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    In MHO you are looking at the problem from the wrong angle. The one that should be segregated or culled is the victim not the perpetrator. Freebird is only acting like every chicken has acted (or wanted to act) since Eve ate the apple.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016

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