Bully hen plucking the others?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChaeBird, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. ChaeBird

    ChaeBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My RIR is plucking the feathers off her sisters' backs and eating them! My poor little bantam EE has a red bald spot, and the SLW has the beginnings of one.
    They're almost 5 months old, and are in the process of transitioning to being outside full-time. I think the plucking is a result of boredom. They've been going outside for longer and longer periods, and they have toys hanging from their indoor brooder to play with. We've separated the bully from the rest of the girls. I'm not sure what else to do. How do I discourage this kind of behavior?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Put them outside. They are fully feathered and can be outdoors full time around 8-10 weeks. Hopefully, being able to forage and scratch and peck will help.

    If you separate a bully for about a week, then reutn it to the flock, usually it will then be at the bottom of the pecking order, thus breaking the bully pattern.
     
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  3. ChaeBird

    ChaeBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Separating her definitely ended her bullying. She is no longer the alpha hen.
     
  4. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you separate them for just during the day or all the time? I have the same problem but the only thing I have is a large dog crate. They are not free ranged so not sure where to put the bully.
     
  5. ChaeBird

    ChaeBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She ended up prolapsing right after we separated her, so we kept her separate all the time. We do let her outside with the others during the day if we are out there to supervise.
     
  6. Halli

    Halli Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello!

    I just added a 7 month (+?) Rhode Island Red to my flock today. My other girls are about 8-6 weeks old. The new hen would take chunks out of my largest and oldest (an EE) periodically. Sometimes the EE would notice that the RIR was looking at her and start to sidle away but the RIR would go 4ft + out of her way to peck at her and take feathers out. Once she establishes that she is alpha, will she stop? How can I get everyone to get along?

    My flock is:
    RIR hen 7+ mos (just laying or about to start - added today)
    EE hen 8+ weeks (largest girl of the old flock)
    PBR hen 8+ weeks (almost as large as the EE)
    Wellsummer hen 7 +weeks
    Bantam Old English (presumed hen - 7 wks) - I also saw the RIR pick on this girl -> she's so tiny!)

    Thanks!
    Halli
     
  7. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took out my bully hen and she is in a cage by herself with food/water and lots of straw covered with blankets in the barn for warmth, I put her in the coop last night to roost with everyone else. This morning, I let her forage with everyone and she started in attacking the other one, so she's back in the cage for probably most of the day. If this doesn't help, I don't know what to do. There are lots of suggestions to leave them all together and let them work it out, but having to deal with an injured bird from being attacked by the bully doesn't sound good either, so I don't know. I'll post my results tomorrow from today's sequestering and hoping it will help. Some people have said they separated their bully for 3 days up to a whole week.
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To have a hope of success of stopping a bully by separating. They have to be out of the flock long enough for the flock to have reordered the pecking order, and written the bully out of the order. And that takes much more then a day and night.
     
  9. ChaeBird

    ChaeBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rosie was separated from the flock for a week and a half, due to her prolapse. She has been reintegrated, and has definitely lost her dominant position. Our new dominant hen, Ruth, protects the other hens from Rosie, and puts Rosie in her place when she gets too aggressive without injuring her.
     
  10. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, my crazy girl is out in the barn tonight in a dog crate full of straw, a roosting bar (not the best) and the cage is covered in blankets to keep her warm. I did let her wander the barn this afternoon by herself so she could get a little exercise and I threw some straw and scratch on the floor because she wasn't eating much. She did lay an egg today which I was surprised but she had herself a cozy little nest made in that crate so she was probably more comfortable than the one in her coop. Anyway, I will give her a few days/nights in there by herself but I do wonder who will be the next ring leader when I reintroduce, or if it will work for her. She's such a nice bird to me, I hate that she is so bad with her friend, who I might add was her BFF when they were babies and dorky looking teens.. LOL Don't know why she hates her now.
     

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