Isolating the meanie, UPDATE

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazy hen quartet, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. crazy hen quartet

    crazy hen quartet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    Chandler AZ
    Ok, so today I was out in the garden and saw just how mean Wilma the loudmouth (and up until a few days ago, a freeloader) has become. She will chase both the EEs around for no reason, "catch" them and peck at their faces and pull head/neck feathers out. One runs like heck, the other squats and waits for the assault to be over.

    I decided enough, went in the coop and my son and I cornered her and I put her in a cage in the garage. I will wait a couple of days, then re-introduce.

    I have another question. Should I take advantage of her being in a small isolated space to try and tame her a bit? She is always so skittish, you can't catch her, touch her, nothing. I'm half tempted to spend some time reading next to her, then start reaching in the cage to pet/hold her, hand feed her, then maybe take her out some and walk around with her under my arm. Will this stress her out too much, or maybe help calm her down?

    edited to add, I just went into the garage (didn't even approach her, just opened the door and stepped in) and she went haywire inside the cage, running, flapping, tipping over her water.... she's a wreck. I"m worried "forced" handling will be too much stress?
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  2. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I just went thru the same thing the other day with a cochin hen of mine, her and another broody hen went nuts on each other like 2 roosters fighting. I had to seperate her since she was the aggressive one and the broody was just trying to hold her own. I kept her in the house for 3 days holding and petting her several times a day, telling her if she doesn't shape up she's gonna have to ship out. I put her back in yesturday and she has been great so far. She was never really that skiddish to begin with but it certainly doesn't hurt to try and tame them. I would go ahead and try to tame that girl and then reintroduce in a few days to a week. Treats help to get her to warm up to you, try to get her to eat out of your hand and talk to her in a very soft voice
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree. I would separate her for a few days. Let her go nuts. Just make sure she has feed and water.
  4. crazy hen quartet

    crazy hen quartet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    Chandler AZ
    So far so... better. I kept her in the garage most of yesterday because she was being so loud and crazy. After she quieted down I brought her inside and set her in the dining room as I prepared dinner. She protested loudly then eventually quieted down. My son laid on the floor next to her cage and colored.

    This morning I hand fed her some greens (which she grabbed from my hand then dropped) and opened her cage to refill her water, while i was in there I took the opportunity to give her a couple of strokes despite her vocal protests. But she didn't go haywire and flap around, so thats good.

    After work I will hold her for a while.

    Thanks for the help guys. I hope she calms down, I really do want her to be part of the flock. the coop has been so mellow and quiet since she has been gone, its nice to see everyone getting along so well in there.
  5. crazy hen quartet

    crazy hen quartet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 20, 2008
    Chandler AZ
    After 72 hours of isolation and lots of handling/hand feeding by people, the loudmouth meanie Wilma was re-introduced to the flock today.
    I have never seen anything like it.

    I set her down and the domimant BR and the previously severely picked on EE came running over and they all craned their necks up and stared at each other, motionless, for a little bit. Then the BR grabbed Wilma by the comb and they began to squabble, with the little EE running around jumping in and taking a peck whenever she got a chance. (I was secretly cheering in my head, "yeah Frodette, you tell her who's boss!)

    then they froze, staring at each other again, and the whole cycle started over. Occasionally the BR would grab Wilma's comb and jump on her back, finally Wilma submitted (I guess?) by squatting down and putting her head under Victoria, the BR.

    Now all seems calm. I hope it sticks! [​IMG]
  6. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    It always works...she just needed to get lowered on the pecking order:>) I do it to my birds quite often when I see one that is being overly agressive, it fixes thier attitudes fast

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