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Hen pecked

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mockcherry, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this won't help the present situation, but maybe will help someone in the future. Bullying usually begins with just one bully, but if left unchecked, other flock members may join in. The victim can be tormented endlessly and eventually killed. If you can intervene while there is still only one bully, you can stop the tormenting. If you want to try separation and re-integration, that might work, but in my experience, the bully eventually becomes a bully again after re-integration, unless you make some dramatic management changes (like quadrupling the amount of space they have)

    I recently killed a bully who pecked the head of another bird to baldness. The latter was once a fiesty, confident bird, but as the bullying progressed, I saw her gradually lose self-confidence, becoming a shadow of her former self. Other birds were just beginning to bully her. Last week, I couldn't stand it anymore, so I put an end to the #1 bully, hoping that the others were not totally entrenched in that behavior. It worked. The other flock members seem to have "forgotten" all about tormenting the victim, whose self confidence is on the rise. She's relaxed and happy and part of the flock. What I did might sound cruel, but it certainly is not humane to keep a victim confined with the bully.
     
  2. chickyflickies

    chickyflickies New Egg

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    Aug 14, 2012
    we tried putting the bully in a cage inside our coop. when we took her out a few days later she was fine for a couple weeks but just now she started pecking 2 of my hens.
     
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup, that's been my experience. The only way I've seen a bully "reformed" is by rehoming her. In the new peck order, she starts out at the bottom of the peck order and does not have the confidence to bully anyone.
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    I had a similar issue with one hen pecking the ever-lovin' crap out of the bottom of the pecking order member. I separated the bully on two separate occasions to no lasting effect. What eventually worked was putting pinless peepers on the bully for just under two straight weeks. She didn't bully while she was wearing her goofy yellow head gear and she got her angry butt knocked a few rungs down the pecking order. Since taking them off several months ago, she's been fine. She also remains smack in the middle of the pecking order and I haven't seen her much bother with anyone else since.
     
  5. chickyflickies

    chickyflickies New Egg

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    Aug 14, 2012
    what is pinless peepers???
     
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    West Virginia
    My Coop
  7. Horse Chick

    Horse Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a Barred Rock hen that was always an alpha but attacked 3 other hens over the last week to the point of plucking feathers in their back above their tail leaving a bald bloody mess. The injured hens were removed and treated, they are being reintroduced to the flock today while they free range. The bully (after I narrowed down who it was) is also in a separate dog crate and will be reintroduced later in the week. I'm hoping to re-establish their order but after reading this thread it looks like I may have to rehome her. This hen is now even being aggressive with me as I take care of her alone so is that an indication that she is hopeless for this flock? If she wasn't laying eggs you'd swear she was a roo.
     
  8. mntgoatchick

    mntgoatchick New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Collbran, CO
    I just started having the same issue...We bought a bunch of hens this past summer and now all of a sudden I've got 1 hen that is getting pecked on by everyone and the Rooster seems to be the Top dog...WHY after they've all been together forever is this just now happening????
     
  9. Horse Chick

    Horse Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2012
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    I've come to the conclusion that mine are bored and perhaps need more room. I'm not free-ranging as often as I like and so this weekend we're going to almost double their pen size by making two new panels. Currently their pen is 8x8 with an additional 4x8 under the coop (3 foot clearance). By adding the two panels we're expanding the large portion to 16x16. We have 9 hens and actually I didn't think we'd end up with this many but we had no roosters to rehome. We also added some thick tree branches and rocks to their current area, just to give them things to climb on and peck at besides each other. I did take my bully hen out and she will remain out on her own until we make the renovations this weekend. They always have things to snack on and now they even have treat balls they can roll around. Also just finished my first batch of barley fodder and they love that and it took them a while to eat it. I'm still trying to figure out the catalyst as to what started the pecking and I'm guessing the cold and lack of foraging. Good luck with your girl.
     
  10. chick fever

    chick fever Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 3, 2012
    try putting some blinders on them so they cant see to peck.
     

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