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Crap. Aggressive Pullet!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HollyKMS, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Felida WA
    I just got my first girls yesterday after researching for months and building my own house & coop. Got 3 bantams- black australorp, silver-laced wyandotte, and welsummer. All breeds that are, generally, supposedly pretty docile, OK with free-range or confinement, etc. I did a lot of research, I thought, since June...

    They were on a property with prob 200+ chickens being raised in pens for show, all in separate areas for each breed. Lots of chickens, small spaces. [​IMG]

    The australorp is freakin' killer ninja from hell. She's targeting the shy wyandotte 99% of the time. I don't know what to do. She's out for blood! That bird is PURE EVIL! She leaps into the air for no apparent reason and lands on the poor wyandotte's head, trying to peck at her head! She's only attacked the very-neutral and ever-so-slightly larger Welsummer once that I've seen. The wyandotte is receiving all the hate, and she's so scared! I don't know what I can do. I don't have an extra pen/coop to put Evil Ninja in and I'm worried that she'll kill the shy wyandotte. There are already loose feathers in the coop. [​IMG]

    Why would a chicken specifically target another chicken this way? I spoke to another chicken owner that said that her australorp was ruling the roost at HER house too, picking on others (all hers are standard, not bantam)... Are these birds just more aggressive than people claim? What can I do?

    Luckily, the wyandotte figured it out and now stays at least a foot from the australorp at all times. Whenever the australorp gets too close, the wyandotte dives behind the neutral welsummer to prevent being attacked. It's working thus far but it's VERY stressful to the wyandotte. She doesn't seem to be thriving from the extra space, good eats, and care that they're all getting now, at least not in the way that the other two are thriving.

    Should I just give it a few days to work itself out, as I've been advised? I'm worried, even though I know it's only been a day. [​IMG]

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    I'd put the Australorp in "chicken jail" for a few days. Stick her in a big dog crate or whatever you can rig up that will be safe and give her enough room to have food/water and at least turn around in and leave her there for 3-4 days.

    The idea is that when she goes back in the main coop it will be the other girls home turf and she'll be the new kid on the block. If your chicken jail is portable put it in the main pen for a day or so before you turn her loose after her 3-4 days away, it may help the reintoduction go smoother.

    Good luck!

    ps I love my australorp girls, they're sweet.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Some hens become flock leaders, in the absence of a roo. My Aussie's are not mean, very gentle and sweet.

    I would say yours is establishing a pecking order and, for some reason, your wyandotte is low hen on the totem pole.

    Your Wyandotte is learning to avoid her and it will all work out fine, I'm sure.

    Meanwhile, I wouldn't tolerate this in your presence. You are the flockmaster and you establish pecking orders when you are there......give that Aussie a boot in the patoot when she picks on the other birds while you are there!
     
  4. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Felida WA
    If I try to correct the Aust when it happens, it frightens all three and they get CRAZY-scared, esp the poor already-traumatized Wyan. It's a hard line. They've all been in small pens in the back of someone's property, in the woods, since birth--little human contact--so I don't want to turn them off humans anymore than they already are. Fine line, ya know? I need to acclimate them to humans while stopping violence (if at all possible). I'm spending A LOT of time by their coop trying to just silently acclimate them and I do a loud "PSST!!" when the bad hen is bad; not sure it helps....

    I'll try to dig up a dog crate or something to try to isolate the austra, if I can; however, it's getting colder now here at night, so I hate for her to be alone at roosting time. (I HATE that I have empathy for so mean a chicken but of course I do) ..

    Thanks for the advice!!!! Will this improve over time?
     
  5. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    Fall Creek Falls TN
    Do what kittymomma says- seperate the australorp for a few days. Let the other girls get comfortable in the coop. It will reset the pecking order, and hopefully the wyandotte will be ok. Putting new birds together can be stressful on them and you. I know it's hard to sit back and let the pecking order get established, but it's natural.
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    HollyKMS [​IMG]

    Good advice here. Separate the bully for a few days and she will return to the flock as the low man on the pecking order. It will get better over time. The girls will work it out amongst themselves with minimal input from you. Just make sure that nobody really gets hurt- like to the point of bleeding. Once someone gets pecked enough to bleed then all the hens will keep pecking at that spot. Chickens love (or hate) the color red and must pick, pick, pick at it until it's gone. So, you want to stop the nasty fighting before it gets to that point. Should one of them get a wound from the fighting, cover the wound with Blu-kote wound dressing which is bright blue/purple to keep the birds from picking at it. You can get Blu-kote at any agricultural store and it's good to have on hand anyway.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  7. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2009
    Felida WA
    Thanks for all the good advice!

    I've separated the little deviant. [​IMG] She'll be enjoying a 3-day vacay in a dog crate (Think 3 days is enough?). I arranged it by the coop so they can all still see each other.

    Was gonna upload a few pictures I just took but I don't see where I can do that..?

    BTW, I've dusted their straw & house w louse killer but can I dust it on the chickens directly?

    Thanks again for the help!
    Holly

    PS Thanks for the welcome! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009

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