bully problem or just give it time?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sprede, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. sprede

    sprede Chirping

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    Hello everyone,
    Just wanted to pick (no pun intended) your brains see what you all think of my situation. My wife and I are still pretty new at the backyard chickening so any help appreciated. We raised 4 chicks from eggs and they reside in a 10x10 dog run (now chicken run) with a 5-6 chicken enclosed coop.

    We started off with 6 but ended up with 4. They are Delaware, Americana, Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red. They are right around 6 months old now and things are moving along pretty good.

    I wanted 6 at one point but had been satisfied with 4 till about two weeks ago my wife surprised me with two more hens :eek:. Now these hens are two years old but are somewhat smaller than the ones we already have. They are Wyandotte and Black Copper Maran (I think).

    Integrating them into the flock was not hard but what is weird was the pecking order took a turn that I did not anticipate at all. Our Delaware who had ruled the roost before exchanged a few punches with one of the new ladies and conceded her rule but then the Barred Rock silently took over as head hen.

    Unfortunately for the new ladies Miss Barred Rock is a bully. She continually chases them away and pecks at them when eating or if they get to close and forget going into the coop at night. All the others are perfect together when Barred is separated from the flock. During the day when they are out free ranging it is ok but once confined in the 10x10 she gets a little Coo-Coo and has to be separated.

    Sorry for the long story, here is my question. Will Miss Barred tone it down over time or is this likely going to continue forever?
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  2. CoopintheWoods

    CoopintheWoods Songster

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    In my experience, introducing new hens to a flock is stressful for all. I still have some bullies in my flock, but it became less severe as time passed. Good luck!
     
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  3. Banditschickens

    Banditschickens Songster

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    Separate the Bully out for a few days.
    Maybe a week to let the pecking order reset.
    Then put her back in the pen at night after everyone has gone to sleep.
    Keep eye's on them be ready to do what you need to do.
    Which could be re-homing bully hen or eating her:oops:.
     
  4. moniquem

    moniquem Crowing

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    I got 4 chicks last spring, a Speckled Sussex, Barred Rock, Australorp and Easter egger. They all 4 were raised from day old chicks. The BR ended up being the top hen and the SS the bottom. BR did a lot of pecking, chasing and bullying of the SS. I too am new to chickens, this being my first flock, so I thought eventually everything would work itself out. Because of the bullying the SS spent a lot of time on her own.

    The final straw for me was a few months ago I heard a ruckus in the coop, close to bed time. The BR had cornered the SS in one of the nest boxes and was brutally attacking her! I decided to re-home the BR, placed an add on Craigslist, she was re-homed the next morning.

    Since then all is well with my little flock of 3. SS was able to roost with the other two for the first time, no pecking and all is well! My coop is only 4x4 and with the cold they spend a lot of time hanging out in there. I cannot imagine them in there with that BR.

    This has been my experience, good luck with your bully!
     
  5. sprede

    sprede Chirping

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    LOL, I told Miss Barred if she didn't shape up she would be chicken nugget dinner. Of course my wife didn't like that to much so I think re-homing would be the best option if things don't get better.
     
  6. sprede

    sprede Chirping

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    Thank you for your post Moniquem. I wonder if BR's are prone to being bullies?
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  7. Banditschickens

    Banditschickens Songster

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    :frow@sprede

    Well does your wife eat? Chicken, eggs?
    Least this way you know what is been fed the birds.
    Not the whatever is in the store bought one's.:oops:;)
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  8. sprede

    sprede Chirping

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    Since we got these birds she no longer eats chicken but we go through at least 24 eggs in two weeks between my family. I think the thought of killing the bird is the problem, she couldn't handle it.
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  9. Banditschickens

    Banditschickens Songster

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    Here's hoping she dont ever get lost and need food.
    She is eating chicken just not yet turned into a actual bird yet.:confused:
     
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  10. imnukensc

    imnukensc Songster

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    If the week long or so separation doesn't work, try pinless peepers on the bully. It was the only thing that worked for me. After wearing the pinless peepers for a few months, I took them off the bully and things have remained calm.
     
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