Do They Learn To Bully?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChooksNQuilts, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    Do younger birds learn bullying behavior from older birds that do that?

    I have 27 chickens.

    I have 2 coops.

    4 LF hens (1 year)
    2 LF cockerels (4.5 months)
    2 LF pullets (4.5 months)
    6 bantam pullets (3 months?)
    1 bantam Silkie cockerel (4.5 months)

    12: 2-3 week old LF chicks (all sexed females :fl)

    I have a couple of dilemmas I’m trying to work out.
    Currently the chicks occupy my prefab coop with an enclosed run. Plenty of space for them right now.

    All the other birds, bantams and LF, occupy my walk-in coop (no run attached).
    Currently all birds free range my very large yard except the chicks.

    The only birds I have that behave like bullies are my 3 SLW.
    I hate it and want to get rid of them.
    A friend told me my younger birds may learn to behave like them if I don’t get rid of them soon.
    My problem is that will leave me with only 3 females for the cockerels for the next several months until my chicks reach POL.
    But if I keep them will they turn my other birds into bullies?
    Should I, A) just keep the SLW and leave the chicks in the prefab coop/run until POL (December/January)?
    OR... B) once my chicks are old enough to integrate (6-8 weeks?:confused:) and I rehome the SLW should I put the 2 cockerels in the prefab coop/run (they will be able to see the girls) until the chicks reach POL so they don’t overbreed my remaining 3 older females?
    The chicks would go into the walk-in coop with the older females and bantams.
    I’m not sure how to manage this since I have different options. :barnie
    What do you guys think are the pros and cons of the solutions?
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
    No,they won’t learn.I had oen situation of a bullying situation and these birds practically corrupted my flock,all birds were same age,lower birds got sick of being bullied,mind you things in my flock are bad at this point,so I think if they get fed up,maybe so.

    How are they bullying?What are they doing?
    OhZark Biddies and ChooksNQuilts like this.
  3. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    SLW are just bossy in general they won't teach anybody to be that way. I'd keep them and seperate the boys since you're probably going to have to do that anyway. The SLW should get slightly less bossy with age "slightly.":)
  4. OhZark Biddies

    OhZark Biddies Crowing

    Apr 13, 2018
    s. central Missouri
    My Coop
    Curious about this also, as I have limited coop/run space and currently have too many chickens... all the day old chicks lived and I had planned for losses :rolleyes:

    But I think a lot of it has to do with breed. I like the looks of SLWs but have observed and read that they can a bit on the aggressive side and since I have ameruacunas and faverolles who are on the timid side I decided no Wyandottes

    Anyway I kind of think the most aggressive breeds just kind of rise to the top...

    I bought a few Dominique’s rather than barred rocks since rocks can be bossy.. and the doms are the bossy ones here...

    I’m thinking about finding them new digs too... but they’re really not that bad...

    Do you have a rooster? (Edit: sorry just saw where you said you did) I ask because I seem to recall they help keep the peace a bit, but my young faverolle Roos still get pushed around a bit by the girls... they such easygoing guys so far
    ChooksNQuilts likes this.
  5. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    They mostly do it when everyone goes in to roost for the night.
    My 4 older females wait until it’s almost dark and everyone else is already in there and settled.
    The sex link will just go up and find a place.
    The SLW want to be at the top roost and heaven help the birds that are up there when they go to be up there.
    It’s usually an uproar and several other birds jump down and have to find a place again.
    Even the cockerels sometimes.
    It’s pretty ridiculous :smack
    The bantams often roost in the ceiling cross beams but sometimes the Wyandottes can reach them and just viciously peck. :he
    One of my bantam Cochins was pecked on her head and now her comb is halfway off. :he
  6. ChickenRelatedUserName

    ChickenRelatedUserName Songster

    Mar 28, 2018
    Colorado (5b)
    OhZark Biddies likes this.
  7. New2Chicks97

    New2Chicks97 Songster

    Jul 3, 2018
    Washington State
    Are your girls specifically bullying or just teaching the others not to mess with them?

    I have noticed that our SLW don’t tolerate anything from anyone. They don’t go out of their way to bully but DO NOT make the mistake of ticking them off. One of our massive Buff Orpington Girls decided to peck the smaller SLW on the head to get a choice bit of scratch. The SLW chased the BO around the run & coop following her mercilessly until I intervened. I have a feeling that she would have continued her attacks until sundown just to show the BO she was not to be messed with. She didn’t start it but she was intent on finishing it. :gig
    OhZark Biddies and ChooksNQuilts like this.
  8. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    My two NN boys are finding their feet still.
    The 4 older girls have been kicking their butts for several weeks now.
    They’re starting to get the upper hand lately though.
    When they tidbit the older girls will show interest and come over.
    But the boys are still afraid of getting their butts kicked so instead of showing the food to the girls they take off :lau
    The boys have been trying to dance too but those girls aren’t really impressed lol.
    The boys usually breed them by running up and jumping on them when they’re not looking.
    Lately the older girls don’t always go after the boys when they’re done.
    They just shake their feathers and continue foraging.
    Today they tag-teamed one Wyandotte :eek:
    Thankfully they mostly leave my 2 pullets alone although they’re getting closer to POL at almost 19 weeks.
    The boys ignore the bantams but they’re also only about 3 months.
  9. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Free Ranging

    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    You know I’ve often asked myself that question.
    The reason it’s bullying to me is because my dominant sex link hen doesn’t do it.
    Red will only squabble with another bird if that bird starts it first.
    She gets the most treats because she’s simply faster than the rest.
    The SLW don’t ever peck her or go after her. All 4 were raised together by a broody hen.
    The Wyandottes will chase from food, treats and roost spots.
    Before I integrated the new teenagers they did it to each other. Sometimes Penelope will still chase and peck Coco and Pepper.
    Maybe they’re just a more assertive breed but I’m not enjoying them in my flock.
    OhZark Biddies likes this.
  10. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
    Sounds normal,unless no serious blood is being drawn and nobody is getting picked to the point their pecking through the birds skin constantly,I would just leave them be.
    ChooksNQuilts likes this.

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