"Bully" hen - Could really use some advice...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MsChickenMomma, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Due to this long, cold, snow filled winter, I am dealing with some very bored hens. One of them has decided that she wants to take out her frustration on the other girls.

    It started out that she was just pulling a feather here and there. Now she chases and tackles the other girls are rips large chunks of feathers out. This morning I went out to check on the girls and she had pulled out chunks of feathers so big on one of the girl's backs, that she now has two holes the size of a dime on her back.

    I seperated the injured hen and the "bully" from the rest of the flock.

    My question is, what do I do? This is getting really bad. Will seperating her for a week or so knock this behavior out of her, or is it too late? I can't re-home her because I read that adding just one hen to a flock is not a good idea. Otherwise I would bring her to our friend that has a much bigger flock than I do. Culling her isn't an option either. I am too attached to her to cull her. The most I could do is re-home her.

    Any advice on what to do would be really appreciated!

    -Ashley
     
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybes you should try fix the problem of why they are bored. Try giving them peck blocks and like hand stuff up like apples and cabbage for them to peck at. If possible let them out of their run for as long as you can everyday. If this doesn't help you could try spraying your girls with the "anti peck spray". If this still doesn't work I would seperate her for a week or 2 and then put her back in. You could also put vasaline on the girls combs that are being bullied.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you for all of the great suggestions!

    My girls are currently being kept in the garage until Spring, since we just moved, so I can't give them any more space. :(

    I just made a homemade flock block and I'm going to get some more cabbages pretty soon. I have been giving them lots of treats over the last week. The treats have helped with the other girl's boredom, but this one just isn't stopping. Im hoping seperating her helps.

    This is the recipe that I used for the flock block. I did a few small modifications since I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand.

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/10/flock-block-substitute-recipe-healthy.html?m=1

    -Ashley
     
  4. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Buy some flock blocks and put them on top of buckets and benches. The hens will jump to reach them. Tie some lettuce heads to the fence or side of coop. Lastly, put branches all around the run. This cheap chicken playground should keep them busy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  5. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my girls gets an attitude from time to time even when she's not bored. Three or four days in solitary seems to snap her out of it and it gives the victims a chance to relax.
     
  6. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks everyone. You have all been very helpful. Tomorrow I'll see if I can add a few little "jungle gyms" to their coop. Since I took the naughty hen out of the coop, the other girls have all settled down and I haven't noticed anyone picking on each other. So my hen (Chicken Little is her name) has definitely been the instigator of the picking problems.

    I'll keep her seperated from the for a few days and see if that solves the problem.
     
  7. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope everything goes well with your chickens. Have fun building a chicken playground!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  8. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Hope everything goes well. Just beware that yourbad girl may come back and take back over again!
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If she continues, I'd go ahead and give her to your friend, with full disclosure, of course. The other hens will take her down a few pegs, that's for sure, but that may be just what she needs to reset her attitude.
     
  10. McCoysOrps

    McCoysOrps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First put the "injured" one back she is not injured her feathers will grow back

    Second take the mean hen out and keep her out for 1-2 weeks so the pecking order will reset and she will be at bottom
     

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