Bully making life miserable!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenwhispererjf, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. chickenwhispererjf

    chickenwhispererjf New Egg

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    Dec 6, 2011
    Ok here is the deal- I have 6 hens (6 months old) all get along pretty well but one an Australorp is making my Orpington's life miserable. She is constantly running after her to peck on her back. I have a lot of high up perches and the poor Orpington (whose name is Cluck btw) has to spend most of her day up there! I have to hand feed her and offer her water as she is afraid to come down to the floor. I don;t know what to do. Should I just get rid of the bully? They spend 1/2 time in their coop, which is very roomy for only 6 hens and 1/2 time free range. When they are free range the bullying is not that bad, as they are all busy, pecking weeds and running about. I feel so sorry for Cluck. She is the nicest sweetest and most friendly of them all. She is terrified most of the time. Any advice would be awesome. JF
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Pull the bully out for two or three weeks to live a life of solitary confinement. Have her live in a dog kennel type big crate or somewhere, if you don't have another pen or coop.

    When she is re-introduced 3 weeks later, she'll likely have lost her place in the pecking order. This does not always work. She might rise to the bully position again. I know it is harder for small flock keepers to cull, but at some point, you've got to cull one of them. I personally prefer to cull the bully, unless the picked on one is a goofy or somehow messages to the others that she is whacko. That would be different. During the period of isolation of the current bully, see what, if anything, changes with the flock and with lowly one. Does she now get along better? Is she still a paranoid?
     
  3. chickenwhispererjf

    chickenwhispererjf New Egg

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    Dec 6, 2011
    thanks I will try isolating her. I did have her in another pen this morning after she was particularly bad. I kept her in there for 4 hours and when I put her back in she was a little more passive. All day since then I see she is not as aggressive. Hmmm I think your advice is good I didn;t follow it long enough
     
  4. Papa Rooster

    Papa Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    theres always a different way. get a rooster and he becoms top dog(if ur community allows it) or kill the other bully. sell her. whatever u feel works
     
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My BO that started her broody act a week or so ago came out today to stretch her legs and eat something. 3 of the others went at her like they really meant harm. She ran back in the run, got some water and layer feed and went back up into her box. I think as much to protect herself as much as she wanted to set. The EE is really sorta mean.
     
  6. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Broody hens have extra hormones and "smell" differently.. at least in my flock the broody hens get picked on.. always. It will not stop until she is done -- until the chicks are old enough and she has gone back to normal hormones and mating... from what I have seen and experienced.

    Now, I have a Cochin that is not broody now.. but, it seems that everyone is so used to her being broody.. that they just sort of keep her outcast.. pick on her.. she is much like yours and seems to be afraid and keeps to herself to stay safe.. . even though she's not broody now... her last chicks are about five + months old now.

    My neighbor says to "give her a bath" to get the extra hormone smells off of her... could your Orpington be going broody? Is she laying? Have you raised these from chicks together? How long has the bullying been going on? The pecking order has to be established, that much is normal... and without a rooster (or even with one) there will be a top hen, and a second... a pecking order. The Orpington has to find her place. (Raising Chickens for Dummies is a good book with info on the pecking order and much more.)

    Also, I have an Australorp mix.. and she was more of a dominating hen, a bit of a bully, when she was younger.. not so much now, a year or so later.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    A chicken has to be "missing" from the flock for up to three weeks for the rest to "re-order" their society.

    The top, mean, insufferable, awful, wicked hen can often be put in her place with a rooster, but not everyone can have a roo, or want one. Secondly, there is often a lowly one who is just a little spastic and becomes a bullying target for not just the lead hen, but for almost everyone. Together in a flock, that's trouble. Again, when you pull the bully out, watch the rest of the flock. Do they now pick up where she left off? Watch to see if things are placid or just as bad as before. Sometimes folks take out the bully and sometimes folks take out the picked on one. It takes some discerning to figure out which is the best next step. Best wishes.
     

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