Bully Chicken


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 8, 2013
In my chickie family I currently have 2 Australorps, 1 Light Sussex, 1 Brown Hybrid and 2 Lavender Pekins. The Pekins are a recent addition (if I didn't take them then the poor sweeties were for the chop). Everyone gets on just fine in the main part (there's the usual peck that you'd expect while the little guys sort out where they are in the pecking order) except that Shelley (the Sussex) has taken against the Pekins. She chases them round the run and pins them down to peck. I've put her into chicken jail in the hope that when I put her back in she'll behave so my question is how long should I isolate her for?
The most recent chicken I bought had a similar problem.
I bought a silkie cockerel at a show. So at the show I kept him in an empty cage next to one of my roosters (NJ, Nitro Junior) and they got along.
Then after the show was over I brought him home and kept him in the mud room for isolation (to make sure he wasn't sick or carrying anything) the one problem was this was in miserable January (in NE US that meant single digits and negatives) So I had two other roosters in there (NJ from the show and his dad, Silver)
When I put down the silkie in the corner with the dog creates (with the doors open so everyone could meet each other) The little silkie looked at both 10+ lb roosters, I guess he recognized NJ, but then he started to go after Silver (and NJ joined in mainly to defend the silkie) I interpreted this as the silkie was going to live in NJ's coop.
Long story shortened. NJ's hens wanted to eat the silkie and the only reason Silver's hens didn't want to eat him was because I let one by one meet him in the mud room and they had to share food and be supervised (still don't get along perfectly, but nothing is perfect). He was thrown in to NJ's coop one night, but with Silver's coop everyone one got to meet each other slowly (how you introduce them is a big thing)

The reasons I put chickens in to an isolation pen is
1.) they are Silver and he finds joy in drawing human blood
2.) One of the roosters loves one hen too much and they are losing feathers
3.) they are chicks and I don't trust them to come back once they see 5 acres of freedom
I do have problems with one hen (Nagem) who wants to murder her daughter when she is in beak reach. This chasing/beating up is solved by throwing a food at them (crackers, hard rolls, apple cores, what ever food I have) and the others chase the food but Nagem thinks that they are chasing her.
Does no one have any advice as to how long to seperate her for?

I don't want to put her back in too early and then have to start all over again!
Really, the only way for this to work is to just try it out and see. Put her in chicken jail for a day, and let her out with close supervision, see if she starts again, if she does, immediately punish the action by putting her back in chicken jail. But it's not guaranteed to work either.
If you remove them for 3-5 days, it will drop their position from top hen and they will have to re-establish their position, usually will not be top again. When you remove them, you have to reintroduce again. Chickens for get really fast. They shouldn't recognize her as part of the flock after several days. There will always be a top hen though, just like there will always be a bottom one. Just the nature of chickens. It's not a "time out" like a child. Chickens do not know this is a "punishment". It just turns the pecking order around a bit. They see the hen that was gone, as a totally new hen, which puts her at the bottom. If she is really determined to be the top hen, she could fight her way back to the top again though. Hope that helps some???
Thanks - I understand that it doesn't really work as a 'punishment' and basically 'demotes' the bully.

The thing is that she was never top hen, in my group of four she was settled at number three so I'm thinking that separating her isn't going to help
I'm by no means an expert, but have had similar issues at times throughout the years. Usually 2 - 3 days should be enough. Don't put any treats out the day you are going to re-introduce the bully. Let the bully out, and go about your normal coop/run chores. There will be a bit of pecking order fighting, which you can break up after a minute, but no blood. If blood is being drawn, then re-isolate the bully for another 2 days, then introduce again. If it's just some feather pulling, but no blood, keep watching. By the time you leave the coop/run the fighting should not be constant, just an occasional feather pull, or peck.
Thanks - she's been out for three days so I put her back in this morning - there's been a bit of pecking but only what I'd usually expect and nowhere near as bad as it was!
She keeps trying to 'guard' the ramp into the coop which the banties aren't impressed about cos it's raining but I keep moving her and now I only have to lift the curtain to look out the window and she moves!

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