Help! Reintegration of bully gone wrong - what to do next??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Brienna, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please help, we are pretty new to this chicken thing and after reading lots on the subject, we decided to isolate a bully hen who was ripping out feathers of the other 3 hens. The first time, she was isolated for 4 days but the feather picking started again as soon as she was with the others again. We put her back in isolation and got her out just a few minutes ago, but there was intense fighting with one of the other hens, they were clinging on hard to eachother and drawing blood. Both are bleeding from the face. This incident freaked me out and I don't know what to do! we put the hen back in her pen alone for now. Should we put her back with them once it's dark? we're afraid if we do so,they'll start again tomorrow morning. I'm afraid one is going to get hurt really bad!
    what should we do??
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep the aggressive hen separate for now. What exactly are you feeding? how old are the birds? How is egg production right now? What do your birds do all day? What are coop conditions? (lighting, feed stations, nesting area, roost space, bedding, ect.)
     
  3. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are feeding layer feed, they are 11 months, and are all laying great. They have a huge coop and run, more than enough for 4 chickens. They have access to food and water in the run and in the coop as well.

    Our ''bully'' hen wasn't aggressive apart from the feather picking thing- it looked like she just thought it was a fun thing to do.

    So, we separated her in hopes that once she goes back into the flock, she would be knocked down a peg or two. But is it supposed to go down this way, the extreme fighting and all once they're back together?? I've never seen my hens this aggressive...it's pretty scary
     
  4. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll have to separate her for at least 3 weeks to knock her position down. Meanwhile, try feeding her a high protein diet, she may be a bully but if she is eating the feathers, she may have a protein deficiency or absorption problem. has she molted or stopped laying eggs recently?
     
  5. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She hasn't molted or stopped laying eggs. We give her some scrambled eggs for more protein.
    Even if we put her back after three weeks, I'm guessing we will still have the fighting problem? how do we manage that? do we have to put her back with the others at night?
     
  6. littlesparrow11

    littlesparrow11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've heard introducing "new" chickens at night works much better that introducing them in the daylight, but it sounds as if your problem is a chronic one- so you could try it, but that may not work. The extra protein is also an excellent idea. Have you considered adding a rooster to your flock (assuming you are allowed to have one where you live)? He might be able to restore order to the ladies.
     
  7. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a tough situation. The only fights i have to deal with between my chicken sis when adding new hens to the flock. I would say keep her separate for awhile and play it play hear i guess. sorry haven't had a lot of experience with this before. [​IMG] Although adding a rooster in my opinion sounds like the best idea that is if you are allowed to keep one where you live.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  8. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately we can't have a rooster. We had 5 chicks in the beginning and one turned out to be a rooster so we had to give him away :(

    TheEggCollector, what did you do when they fought? did you just let them sort it out? did they draw blood? how long did it go on for?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  9. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whenever i integrate new birds I keep the newbies in the same coop but with a fence down the middle. That way they can meet each other but can't touch. I do this for a week and then let them out with my existing flock. They do fight and have little arguments. Although, each day there are less and less fights. THEY NEVER HAVE DRAWN BLOOD! If that were to happen i would definitely separate them again. I have always had great results with the between the fence method. I recently added five rhodebar pullets to my flock last week and there was little to no fights. Hope this helps. Please ask more questions if needed. [​IMG]
     
  10. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your advice :) I am thinking that maybe I should do this, let them see eachother but keep them separated for a week or so, as if I am adding a new hen. Maybe things will go more smoothly. My hens are super sweet usually, the fighting has really thrown me off and left me clueless :(... I will probably try your method. Thanks again!
     

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