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Chicken Bullies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BayBay Peepers, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

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    I need some advice. I haven't had to deal with something like this yet and am a little lost.

    I have year old buff orps and white leghorns. In April I picked up two black australorps. I figured they were just kind of shy because of the age difference until today. I moved them into the main coop about three weeks ago. I have two roost levels. Everyone goes to the top except the black australorps. I didn't really think much of it because all my chickens started out there when they first started out then eventually moved up.

    This morning my white leghorns full out attacked them. I had to run and pull them off. I let them free range so I'm not worried about the yard just yet. My concern is I want all my chickens to have a happy life and obviously the black australorps are being denied that right now.

    What can I do to correct this issue? Should I put them up top one night so they all wake up on equal ground? I thought about rehoming the white leghorns, but I'm already their second home and the guilt is eating me.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Monaschicks

    Monaschicks Chirping

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    I'm so sorry you are going through this. I am really glad I am not the only one that has this problem with white Leghorns. I have two of these and they are bullying everyone at the food dishes. Even if they already ate they stop others while eating. A friend of mine keeps telling me to get a Guinea. They seems to neutralize rank. Hers were having the same problem and now with the Guinea...no pecking order...just calm. Her Guinea doesn't bully either. Not sure how you feel about this but I am seriously considering this. Sadly I have tried everything such as separating feeding areas, putting in more chicken toys, making a bigger run, separating leghorns...somehow they got back in...still haven't figured out how. They even attacked my rabbits when I had them out. Definitely this is the last resort. If this is not an option for you then I would rehome them. They gang up like a pack of dogs. Short of making a new coop just for the leghorns I don't think there is anything you can do. Wish I had better advice. Don't feel guilty because your other chickens will appreciate the restored peace.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    There are so many facets and factors involved with integrating new chickens into your flock that it can't really be answer in one post.

    I highly recommend reading up on others' experiences, you should certainly find some solutions to your particular issues.

    advanced search>titles only>integration

    Basics:
    Same sized birds.
    Physical separation with visual access for several weeks before allowing contact.
    Lots of space in both coops and runs.
    Multiple feed/water stations.
    Hiding places where new birds can get away and/or up from existing flock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

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    Been there done that. This is where the problem comes in. For 5 weeks the black australorps were in a brooder. For 7 weeks I kept them in a small coop visible to the group and slowly let them go outside. I read younger birds can take a while to get comfortable so I let them go slow. Then 3 weeks ago I put them in the main coop. There is adequate roost space and run space. I have three water stations and feed stations. My buffs are great. They were even very accepting of the leghorns when they arrived in winter. The leghorns are just plain mean.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    How old are they aussies?

    Separate out the leghorns, see what happens, after a couple reintroduce and see what happens?

    Mean chickens make good soup.
     
  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

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    The australorps are about 15 1/2 weeks. They're actually bigger than the leghorns as of now, just more sweet tempered. I thought about chicken soup for a minute. The only reason I wanted to hold off on soup or a new home is because the lady who rehomed them to me moved out of state and likes updates. I'm not so sure I can handle giving "I had leghorn soup" as the next one haha I just want to try all other ideas before I make a final decision with them.

    I'll try separating the leghorns. I'll have to figure out some chicken juggling. I have two small pens, but I've been using it for my Mama's for the past three weeks. Guess I could build another one this weekend.

    Thanks!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    I thought I was soooo smart planning a small segregation section in my coop...and I was, it has been invaluable.
    BUT
    now I wish I had a couple more...lol....one for growing out cockerels and another for just doing some separation/holding for culls.

    I did use large wire dog crates to separate out a few cockerels for a few days at a time, and a smaller one for transporting/holding one a time headed for the pot. I've also have just staked out some 30' long sections of 6' high 2x4 fencing for day pens.

    Yikes on the ex 'pet' owner obligation!

    Good luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  8. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

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    Oh boy, I learned a valuable lesson. Do not take in chickens with baggage. You can just see trouble written all over them. White tornadoes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

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    Here's an update. We have good days and bad days. I'm becoming an expert chicken juggler. I found if I put the black australorps up top and swap a naughty leghorn or two and stick them below there is no fighting in the morning. The leghorns still won't really accept the australorps, but my orpingtons are just fine with them. My two mama hens moved their 5 week old chicks into the coop (on their own) and the leghorns don't bother them one bit. Hopefully over time there are more and more good days and less and less bad days.
     

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