Bully is stressed/flock introduction issues

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by marzedotz33, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. marzedotz33

    marzedotz33 Hatching

    Jul 25, 2010
    I'm co-chickening with some neighbors w/ my two rhode island reds (who are 4-5 months old) and their chickens that are about 2-3 yrs old. One is a banti (sp) and the other is Maybe an Orpington? It is our dream for them all to live happily ever after in a 6x 15 coop/chicken run w/access to a larger area by day.

    My little chicks lived in a modified dog crate until about 2 months and then we put the dog crate into the big coop w/the older chickens for about 2-4 weeks with a barrier between them, two different feeding areas and water areas. After 2-4 weeks we took the barrier down and letting them all live together and establishing the pecking order. At this point they're all about the same size and the Orpington is the lead chicken- she pecks at the others and gets her Banti friend to block w/her food areas, water dishes and laying boxes. Even before my chicks were introduced the Orpington was displaying "rooster like" behavior- cockadoodling.. bigger comb etc. We sprayed the Orpington every time she was mean to the chicks and we were around. As of the last few weeks the Orpington has stopped laying eggs (before she was a heavy layer and now i think it's been a week since she produced) and is loosing some feathers (a lot around her neck) no one is pecking her and if anything she's the bully in the roost. It seems like she's extra stressed- or perhaps it's just mid summer molting? Is there anything we can do to help her out or will this all just blow over? Should we separate them again- let them work it out? We're not sure at this point if anything should be done or just if it'll get worked out. Any advice would help!
  2. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    Its kinda hard to break a chicken from its habbits.

    I had a rooster one time when I introduced some baby chickens he would chase them down stand on top of my little chickens and peck them.

    When it was clear that he wasnt going to stop the harrasment of my chicks no matter what we did, we had to put him down.

    But if you can get your chicken to stop then great, but if it doesnt you may want to consider the freezer.
  3. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    If she's not actually hurting anybody, I'd let her work her problems out on her own. She could just be molting and it would really be a shame if you did something harsh when it wasn't even a huge problem. Chickens tend to be like kids. If left alone, MOST of the time they will work out their squabbles. Loudly, and with a lot of minor tussles we would prefer they avoid, but nevertheless they eventually get it settled. HOWEVER, there are some that just can't seem to handle it and have to be separated, (like bullies in school etc..) and there is no other solution but to home them in different pens. I sometimes think our interfering lengthens the process (the spraying, yelling etc...) They have a pecking order they're trying to work out on their own and the faster they get it done the better off everyone is.

    Just my 2 cents...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by