Help with bullying!

sariea

Chirping
Aug 21, 2015
67
16
81
Rochester, NY
I have 6 hens, one of my RIRs is picking on my Russian Orloff. It's been going on for over a week and at first I thought it was because they weren't getting enough protein, as the RIR would eat the small feathers being picked off the RO's face/neck. We got them mealworms but it's still happening. Even though she's a month older, the RO is very timid and just stands there and lets it happen. If I'm out there and see it about to happen, I put my hand between their faces but it's cold out now and I can't be out there all the time.

I ordered some Rooster Booster Pick No More which should be coming today in the mail, but I'm concerned it won't help, since the RIR isn't picking on the spots with no feathers and that's where you're supposed to apply this stuff. My husband will not allow the chicken into the house, but regardless we don't want to separate them anyway as it can cause problems when the RO is reintroduced, and we can't keep her in the house long enough for her feathers to grow back.

At this point I don't think I care why it's happening, I assume it's because the RO looks different than the other chickens. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm trying to stop this behavior before my RO gets seriously injured. Below are picks of how she normally looks and how she looked as of yesterday (she's got more feathers missing today)

 

BeachMomma

Chirping
Jun 25, 2015
124
16
53
NC
Is the bully RIR the top hen of the flock?
You could make a "time out" cage for the RIR inside your current coop, if you have the spare room. Keep her in it for 24 hrs and see if it breaks her bully behavior. If she starts again do another day of time out.
The makeshift cage needs to be big enough for her to turn around in plus food/water. Also when you're ready to let her back out, do it at night time when the other hens are already roosting.
Hopefully another Byc'er will have some other ideas to add. Good luck!
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,997
228,883
1,687
You may wish to consider isolating the aggressor for a while and see how things go

Ct
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,997
228,883
1,687
Sorry, I started my response a while ago and just pressed send
1f604.png
 

sariea

Chirping
Aug 21, 2015
67
16
81
Rochester, NY
thanks for the replies, I will look into some kind of separation method. The only thing we have right now is our chicken tractor but it seems counterproductive to me to put the aggressor in a box where she can get fresh grass as a punishment.

The RIR is not the top of the flock. Our Buff Orpington is, but the only time I've seen the BO peck the RO is when i'm holding the RO.
 

BeachMomma

Chirping
Jun 25, 2015
124
16
53
NC
The chicken tractor would be good even if she's getting grass during punishment. They're not smart enough to connect bad behavior with treats.
Like Rob posted, it's to break the bully behavior. By knocking her down to the lowest one on the totem pole in should stop the behavior just like putting a broody in a broody cage to stop that behavior.
 

sariea

Chirping
Aug 21, 2015
67
16
81
Rochester, NY
By knocking her down in the pecking order, it's not going to cause one of the others being picked on, is it? I "get" that they have pecking orders but i just don't want them to hurt each other...
 

Cartop Rob

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2015
39
3
26
ontario canada
Just keep sending mean hens to the chicken jail. Under no circumstances should you separate the ones being bullied. You want them to maintain their pecking order position. The goal is to knock the bully down in the order. They will always squable especially at roost time. My coop sounds like war at bed time. However once they get their roost spaces established for the night it goes silent. The key is separation.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
By knocking her down in the pecking order, it's not going to cause one of the others being picked on, is it? I "get" that they have pecking orders but i just don't want them to hurt each other...
There is a difference between normal pecking order scuffles and continued bullying. Lock up that mean RIR and see how the others do. I have often had issues with hatchery RIR's being aggressive with flock members. Your bird may have an attitude adjustment after some time in chicken jail or she may go right back to her old shenanigans once she is put back in with them. Just have to try it and see.
 

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