Couple of mean chickens ruining the fun!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by momof2monkeys, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. momof2monkeys

    momof2monkeys Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2009
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    So My small flock of 6 is having issues. Here's the run down... sorry if it's wordy, I just want to cover it all...
    Nugget was our first girl, she had 2 brothers who were sent to a nice farm in the country with plenty of room to run. Nugget is a sweetie.
    We found 2 BR chicks who were about a month old. They didn't get as much lovey time as Nugget, because they already didn't like it. Nugget went broody. Enter the babies. We kept mama and babies separate for about a month then let mama and her kids free range in the yard with the BR girls.
    The BR girls were MEAN!! They would attack the babies whenever they were close enough. So, Mama Nugget being the kick a$$ bantam that she is, beat the BR girls down. Pretty fun to watch! I kept Nugget and her peeps separate at night in their own brooder. A snake got 2 babies so we did some rearranging to better protect the little one and a friend gave us 2 new chicks! Yay! By this time Nugget had already stopped protecting her baby from the big bad BR's.
    So, here I am with 3 egg layers and 3 kids who don't get along. Chum Chum is an Americana/Orpington and Debbie and Speedy are Orpingtons, so I know they will be big enough to take care of themselves one day. I just can't get them to leave the babies alone now! The BR's actually chase the babies away from food and water. I put out separate bowls so the babies can eat! They chase them and the babies are terrified. I go out with a treat and the 3 big girls come running while the babies run away. They were very loved on and cuddled so they would be used to being handled, now they are terrified of everything.

    PLEASE, help! Should I say good bye to the BR's and just replace with babies who can get along? As it is my babies go into a cat carrier at night so they can be in run and protected.
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many people let the teenage chicks grow up in a separate pen, and only let them mix in with the flock when they're almost full grown and better able to fend for themselves.

    That's what I'm doing: I have a hen pen, and a teen chicken pen.
     
  3. clothdiaperingmom

    clothdiaperingmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, I dont put my babies or teens with the older ones.
     
  4. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Also, double check your BRs... we had what we *thought* was a BR, and it turned out to be a cuckoo maran (they are very similar looking, especially as juveniles/pullets). She was mean as blazes, wouldn't let any of the birds that were smaller than her get near the feeder or waterer, and she pecked them to the point of creating stress in the flock within only a few days. We took her back to the breeder and traded her out for a white leghorn. Apparently, when they're young the best way to tell a BR from a cuckoo maran is that the cuckoo marans have white legs & the BRs have yellow legs, other than that, I hear they're hard to tell apart (I couldn't tell them apart without looking at their feet, but I'm new to "chickeneering").

    We now have a BR, and she is the sweetest of my flock of 5 pullets (a barred rock, an ameraucana/EE, a welsummer, a white leghorn, and a Rhode Island red which I now believe to be a RIR/NHR cross).
     
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We don't mix standards and bantams for the safety of the smaller birds.

    We have "creeper" areas for young birds in our bantam pen - - gated pens with wooden slats that only allow smaller birds through. Placing feeders and waterers in these areas allows chicks to feed in peace.

    Now, if I have birds actually causing physical harm to other birds (not just chasing), I start rearranging who is living with whom. I have only had one really nasty, aggressive bird, and she went to live on a very large farm. . . very quickly.

    Good luck!
     
  6. momof2monkeys

    momof2monkeys Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2009
    near Austin
    My banty hen is the ruler of the roost! Love her spunk! My babies, who are almost 3 months old, will just have to be kept separate until they can handle themselves. I really wanted a peaceful flock. It's just not going to happen with my bully girls. My husband is voting for freezer camp, I'm almost there. One day I will have a nice peaceful group of girls.
    Oh well, thanks for the input. I just love the support from all the chicken peeps! [​IMG]

    The babies aren't Bantams, Nugget was their surrogate mom. We have no Roo, so we borrowed eggs. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't get discouraged, you'll get that peaceful flock! With small flocks it's even more important to have the right mix of birds. When you get it right, it's fabulous and relaxing for everyone.

    If the mean girls don't shape up, someone else with another pen/living situation might find them quite enjoyable. You might try just sending them to another home.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted on how things work out! [​IMG]
     

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