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Dominant hen separation/reintroduction

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sixsisters, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. sixsisters

    sixsisters Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2009
    Hi gang! I'm in Tucson, AZ and I have a red sex-link ( named Pollo- "ll" pronounced as a "y") in with 2 ameruacanas, 2 buffs, 1 rhode island red, 1 barred rock and another red sex-link. They are all the same age. The run is roughly 22ft long by 10 wide, they have an ample coop, and have been laying like champs for roughly 3 months. I've had to separate out 2 hens due to bloody back ends near vent. The discovery was AWFUL! This morning I actually witnessed Pollo pecking at the rear end feathers of my barred rock. Just following her around waiting for a chance to nail her, so I know she's at least ONE of the culprits. All my hens look like sh** with feathers pecked clean off back or broken down 1/2 on shaft so there might be other guilty parties. Actually, Pollo has broken feathers too so I know she's not the only one engaging in this behavior. But my question is, has anyone ever separated out a particularly nasty (dominant?) hen and successfully reintroduced her later to find the nasty behavior has stopped?

    I realize I have 2 problems here: general feather pecking and the nasty dominant hen. I had feather pecking with my last flock of 6 so I'm obviously doing something wrong, but I continue to read up on that subject here and try new things/change things. My main concern right now is do I need to get rid of my nasty hen or can I somehow remove/curb the dominance by separation?

    Thank you ahead of time for your consideration of my problem.
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Absolutely separate that offender! Chicken jail for a week or so then see how it goes. That may take care of the problem or it may re appear. I'd not get rid of her till I'd tried chicken jail time.
  3. sixsisters

    sixsisters Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2009
    Thanks! Now...to find a suitable jail space. Right now she's in where my fall garden will go...TOMORROW! The other 1/2 of the run is taken up by the injureds. Time to get creative! [​IMG]
  4. ellyn

    ellyn Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2011
    Hi I don't know if you are still on or will even get this, but I'm curious how things went with you separating experience as this was posted a long time ago. I finally put my "top of the pecking order" hen in jail today. She has been eating eggs and I have other hens that are feather pecked as well; some of it might be their molt, but I can't really tell.

    Nice to have the week long duration stated by other reply. I have been looking for some guidelines on this.

    Let me know how things went.


  5. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    I'm under the impression that sometimes chickens pick because of, or due to, lack of protein in their diets....Do yours get enough? Maybe a little more would stop some of the picking?
  6. ellyn

    ellyn Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2011
    I think they do, I am feeding layer crumbles, BOSS fairly regular, green scraps often. This hen is in "lock-down" again. I have determined from this separation that she is my main egg eater. I've been able to collect more eggs in the last few days. YAY!! I put her in because I saw her peck very meanly another hen while laying; that little girl has had trouble getting her feathers to grow back on her back (I have no roos). Three days now in confinement and the others are getting a break from eggs eaten and feathers pecked.

    Looking for info on how a chick would do alone as a pet, but it seems that most feel they are better off in a flock (or the pot). She really is a sweet chicken and a good layer and I don't think she eats her own eggs.
  7. ibarbidahl

    ibarbidahl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2012
    Odessa, FL
    Would keeping her where she can see the flock but not interact be an option or having 2 flocks a higher and lower flock be something you could do? Stinks to think of getting rid of one you enjoy because she's bossy. But, you have to do what is best for the whole flock.
    Good luck!

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