chicken bully’s and putting chickens back together

lindsayrussell

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
30
10
39
hello ! i have 7 chickens, all different breeds, all grown up together and are now almost a year old. my lavender americana has gotten pecked at badly 3 times for the time we’ve had them. she’s only been pecked at by my cinnamon queen and she is the “leader” of the flock.

the first time she was injured under her wing, bleeding, we isolated her. second time on her butt but we didn’t isolate her. every time i spray her wounded area with “blue cote” which covers the blood and cleans it. when we isolated her we put her in a dog kennel right beside the run so that all the chickens can still see her.

2 weeks ago
this time i went to go check the chickens because i didn’t see them all day, so they were sleeping and her back was pecked RAW!! about 3 inches wide and tall :((( luckily she wasn’t bleeding but her feathers are all gone in that area. i sprayed her and quickly isolated her. poor thing is probably traumatized :(

NOW
A couple days ago we put her back with the rest of the chickens and planned to only take the bully chicken out and isolate her but a different chicken started pecking at her immediately. Now we put those two chickens together so that they can be “punished”. they have been separated from the rest of the flock for four days now.

my mom and I are trying to figure out what we should do when we put all of them back together. The lavender americana is healthy and looks happy. we have implemented new things in our run like hanging cabbage, square treats, treat play ball, a mirror and more meal worms. I heard about spraying The chicken that keeps on getting packed on with vinegar but well that did hear everyone away from her?

we are planning to put the “bully’s” back in in two days, any insight will help!

Our chickens
cinnamon queen >
black australop > two that peck
buff orphington
wellsummer
barnevenor
red jungle fowl
lavender americana > the one that gets pecked
3A32496D-4678-47D1-9BE0-6A78EAA1F4F4.jpeg
3A32496D-4678-47D1-9BE0-6A78EAA1F4F4.jpeg 3A32496D-4678-47D1-9BE0-6A78EAA1F4F4.jpeg CC16905D-6043-4507-A5F8-01B0538FA68A.jpeg
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,372
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Colorado Rockies
Seeing this colorful bunch all tightly grouped leads me to wonder if they are victims of not enough run space. Imagine being crowded together with six other unruly humans in a space not even large enough for one person to have peace and quiet. After a bit, you might feel desperate enough to hurt one of them.

Ten square feet of run space is the absolute minimum per chicken if you expect to begin to have peace and harmony.

"Punishing" chickens is fruitless. Punishing any animal is fruitless. Even punishing humans won't get you far. Discipline and aversion therapy is more effective, but you need to understand chickens in order for you to get anywhere with it. Chickens have a psychological facet, and it's not all that mysterious.

Here's an article I wrote on bullying that may start getting you headed in the right direction. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-bully-chicken-victim-a-two-sided-issue.73923/
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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X3
The pictures really are worth a thousand words. You are sorely lacking in space.
If you truly want what is best for the birds, build a much larger run for them. I'd add on an additional 100 sq ft of space at a minimum. Put lots of things in the run for them to perch on and dig around. You have some seriously bored birds and the lowest ranking bird is going to continue to be bullied because they have little else to do.
It is the main reason why battery hens are debeaked. They are kept in such small quarters they begin to peak each other. It's a common result of inadequate space.
 

lindsayrussell

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
30
10
39

lindsayrussell

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
30
10
39
X3
The pictures really are worth a thousand words. You are sorely lacking in space.
If you truly want what is best for the birds, build a much larger run for them. I'd add on an additional 100 sq ft of space at a minimum. Put lots of things in the run for them to perch on and dig around. You have some seriously bored birds and the lowest ranking bird is going to continue to be bullied because they have little else to do.
It is the main reason why battery hens are debeaked. They are kept in such small quarters they begin to peak each other. It's a common result of inadequate space.

hi thank you for your input!

the coop is 6x6x7’high and the run is Run is 18’x6. that leads it to be 106 ft.² which is 15 ft.² for each bird... we already have a roost and attached swing in the run as well as other things I listed above.
 

lindsayrussell

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
30
10
39
Seeing this colorful bunch all tightly grouped leads me to wonder if they are victims of not enough run space. Imagine being crowded together with six other unruly humans in a space not even large enough for one person to have peace and quiet. After a bit, you might feel desperate enough to hurt one of them.

Ten square feet of run space is the absolute minimum per chicken if you expect to begin to have peace and harmony.

"Punishing" chickens is fruitless. Punishing any animal is fruitless. Even punishing humans won't get you far. Discipline and aversion therapy is more effective, but you need to understand chickens in order for you to get anywhere with it. Chickens have a psychological facet, and it's not all that mysterious.

Here's an article I wrote on bullying that may start getting you headed in the right direction. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-bully-chicken-victim-a-two-sided-issue.73923/
hi thank you for your input!

the coop is 6x6x7’high and the run is Run is 18’x6. that leads it to be 106 ft.² which is 15 ft.² for each bird... we already have a roost and attached swing in the run as well as other things I listed above.
 

Gwethrien

Chirping
May 6, 2020
72
238
96
Sacramento,CA
My chickens have hundreds of square feet to range and my black australorp is also a bully to everyone bird below her in pecking order and she is third in pecking order out of flock of 6, she is also my best layer so I just scold her and if she pecks at me I peck her on back on head with my fingers and put her in submissive hold (she now doesn’t peck at me). My older two reds only dominate when folks get out of line and actually shield the weakest one from bully. Chicken politics are fascinating to me.
 

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