Did I make the right decision?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KerryC, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. KerryC

    KerryC Chirping

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    Sep 22, 2019
    Queensland, Australia
    G'day everyone
    I'm hoping if I tell you a bit of my story, any of you could tell me if I made the right decision yesterday, (please try not to be to blunt with your responses as I'm feeling emotionally drained today)

    As I posted in the new members area, I currently have 2 Plymouth Rocks, but that is since yesterday lunch time.
    I will try to keep my long story short...

    I used to have 2 Australorp Bantams as well. Noodle came to find herself in the bottom of the pecking order after her moult last year, was pushed out of the flock and we set up a penthouse suite in the run for her. Dixie our other bantam who was leader of the flock, would go up during the day and join her.
    After 4 months, Noodle plucked up the courage to go back into the main coop at night, would head into a lay box and Dixie would sleep in front of her to protect her from our 2 big Plymouth Rocks.
    For 6 months life went on like this, sometimes there'd be issues with the Plymouths stopping noodle from going in at night and she'd wait for me to go and pick her up and gently put her through the lay box lid area to bed.
    Then a month ago, Noodle deteriorated rapidly one day, had a heart attack and died. I was devastated.

    The other chooks got on with life for the last month, then a week ago, Dixie the other bantam, laid a soft broken egg and Speckles, the youngest but biggest Plymouth, decided now was her chance to go up in the pecking order.
    She attacked Dixie and drew blood just where the comb meets the beak.
    I isolated Dixie to heal and put her back and Speckles attacked again but this time when they were out free roaming, she pounced on her with fierceness.
    Thatcher my 2nd Plymouth, was still being friendly to Dixie, but when she saw Speckles attack, she joined in

    So I isolated Speckles the bully which made Thatcher distraught that her mate wasn't with her and of course Speckles went crazy.
    I let them all out together after 24 hours and they both charged Dixie. Thankfully no blood on the last 2 occasions.

    So I decided to put the Plymouths back together, built Dixie her own coop and for 6 days she free roamed through the day and befriended our pug and had me for company. Each morning, Thatcher the nice Plymouth would come and look for Dixie and they'd peck around together and when the Plymouths were put back in the run, Dixie would sometimes stand looking down at the run...forlorn. So I set up a crate for her next to the run thinking she could go and visit them, she came over curious, eyed up the run and ran away as fast as her bantam legs could go... she was needing chook company but Thatcher was confused whether to be friends or follow Speckles orders.

    SO, yesterday I made the heartbraking decision to rehome Dixie, to a family on 20 acres up the road, who had another lonely bantam. I thought it right to get her away from Speckles, let her have a friend and if we were to go away on holiday she would have been alone in a coop here.

    The lady that collected her has not responded to my message asking how Dixie is. Thatcher has looked everywhere for Dixie this morning and is sad and Speckles is just confused!

    Did I make the right decision to rehome Dixie?!
    I can't stop crying over this, did I just mess up the chooks lives
     
    penny1960 and CaramelKittey like this.
  2. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Crowing

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    It definitely is sad. I think you made the right choice to regime Dixie. It’s never personal when chickens hurt each other, it’s just their way of survival. I’m sorry for your loss. It always makes me cry too when I lose my precious bird babies. I have noticed that my larger hens and bantams have never gotten along quite right. Hopefully Dixie is enjoying her new home. And hopefully your two Plymouth chickens are getting along as well and are still happy together. Personally, I love that breed, they are great egg layers.
     
  3. KerryC

    KerryC Chirping

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    Sep 22, 2019
    Queensland, Australia
    Thank you so much for replying so quickly. My heartache today is so deep. We have had our chickens for 1 year and are new chicken owners, so in hindsight we wouldn't have had 2 different breeds. Loss is hard to deal with for sure.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    I am so sorry you are hurting, but, imo, you did the absolute right thing! Your Dixie will get to be part of another flock where she will probably be accepted. Your Rocks will be much more docile and hopefully live on in peace. If you hadn't rehomed Dixie, things would probably not have ended well. You did the best for all chickens in your care. Good for you! Hugs and high five!
    :hugs :highfive:
     
  5. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    Wanted to add:
    And even if there was a chance Dixie would be accepted by the others at some point down the road, the others will adjust and you saved her injury and stress and all of that abuse.
     
  6. KerryC

    KerryC Chirping

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    Thank you so much, the girls are definitely more subdued today. I'm going to try and make some fun and interesting changes in the run for them to cheer them up
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Chickens don't handle change well, but they get over it. I think your remaining chickens are just more confused than anything. Give them a couple of days, and they will have forgotten all about Dixie.
     
  8. Wolfefarmyard

    Wolfefarmyard Crowing

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    The way you worded things in the beginning, I thought the end of your story would be that you butchered her, I was thinking noooo! :hit Just rehome her! Which I now know you did! :celebrate

    I think you made an excellent decision, especially considering that you tried just about everything prior!

    It is unfortunate that the people who took her haven’t responded to your messages yet. I’d be a little upset too!

    But I’m sure she’s well and happy thanks to your decision!

    It takes time for chickens to adjust to change, but all will be well soon!

    Don’t be so upset! You did the right thing! :hugs
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    You did the best for everyone; wishing that they would get along just didn't work, and you did try.
    Having her injured, and everyone stressed all the time, isn't better.
    Mary
     
  10. KerryC

    KerryC Chirping

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    Sep 22, 2019
    Queensland, Australia
    Thank you, I have just done a thorough coop and run clean, put in fresh potted lavender and rosemary, iced water and cold watermelon, called them back in and offered them a drink of cold water from the jug (something they all queue to do)
    Speckles was hesitant and Thatcher clearly has lost her trust in me. Slightly gutted. Hopefully quiet chats and lullabies and treats I'll win her back.
    I appreciate your response, thank you
     

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