I've got a bully - please help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newbie2this, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. newbie2this

    newbie2this Chillin' With My Peeps

    28
    0
    50
    Apr 14, 2015
    Ok, so 2 weeks ago I isolated a chicken that I thought was just going through a hard molt. She loved the extra attention, feathers came back beautifully and I went to reintroduce her today........

    Backstory -I have 4 hens - all going on 2 years old and have been together since 2 days old. We live on 4 acres and they have their own area that they are able to free roam. my RIR had become a little more aggressive/pushy, even when I would walk in with treats. I noticed her kind of bullying this one chicken whose feathers were in poor condition.

    So back to today - within 2 minutes of the re-introduction (which was being done in a neutral area that is about an acre) the RIR had the other pinned down and had a beak full of feathers. I snatched her (being the bully) up and she is now in isolation..... Will removing her help with the pecking order?? Or does she need to find a new home?? [​IMG]
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Anytime you remove a bird and try to introduce it........It does not go well......Look no touch pen for a week........Then try again....Pecking order runs high in a flock of Chickens.....



    Cheers!
     
  3. newbie2this

    newbie2this Chillin' With My Peeps

    28
    0
    50
    Apr 14, 2015
    Well, the reintroduction went great with the other 2 hens - the bully is the only one that had a problem. I have her back in the chicken coop right now with no problems - but my RIR is not in there. Why would she have decided to be a jerk out of nowhere?
     
  4. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't tried this myself, but others on this forum wrote that if you isolate a misbehaving hen like your bully long enough, like 1-2 weeks, she'll lose her place in the pecking order and the flock will sort of "forget" her. When you then reintroduce her to the flock, she'll be like a newcomer and has to work her way up again from the bottom and won't be able to bully around freely as before. Another option is using pinless peepers, a sort of clip-on chicken blinders that can help prevent a hen bullying others because she can't see them properly (she'll still be able to see her food etc). If that doesn't work, maybe she really needs a new home.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Okay, back up a bit.......I am confused......You just put back a bird that was out of the flock for two weeks....Right?


    Pecking order is strong......They will fight to establish pecking order again.....It is like introducing a new bird......They do not care if they lived with that Bird all their lives....It is pecking order.....



    Cheers!
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Pecking order changes in all flocks that are established.....All birds try to be top Bird........I have Horses....Same thing goes in a herd.....Top horses and ones at the bottom...Daily they try to get to the top......


    Cheers!
     
  7. HnkyDnkyZZFarm

    HnkyDnkyZZFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    145
    24
    68
    Jan 2, 2016
    Northern California
    Every time you pull someone and put them back, they're going to have to fight their way back in. Stopping it just draws out the process.

    If there were no way the other chicken could get back in without being seriously injured, I would isolate the bully for a few days while the other re-acclimates, and the time away will put the bully back to the bottom of the flock order, so they'll be busy fighting their own way back in. They won't have the authority or the time that they have as an 'established' flock member to bully others.
     
  8. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    2,354
    329
    196
    Mar 21, 2016
    Ohio!
    Hopefully this doesn't seem to harsh, but my opinion would be to either kill or get rid of the bully. With the two choices I would probably just kill. If the bully has already shown a little aggression to you when you go in with treats, I would hate to see what kind of aggression they will show later on. If you sell the bird, you're just passing on the problem to someone else, which really isn't fair. And if the other birds are getting along fine, I really see no reason to keep the bully bird. If you can't kill the bird yourself, I'm sure that you can find someone that will. Like I said before, I hope this isn't to harsh, it's only my opinion and I am used to having birds killed. Best of luck! :D
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Dominant hens though might always stay that way.......Pulling the Bully does not always work.........Leave them to see what happens.....I would....It looks bad to us....It really is okay to a Chicken.....



    Cheers!
     
  10. newbie2this

    newbie2this Chillin' With My Peeps

    28
    0
    50
    Apr 14, 2015

    Yes, but the hen that had poor feather condition and was being picked on by the RIR, is the same hen that the RIR went after again during the reintroduction. So, the hen that was separated and the other 2 that we have are now peacefully in the coop. The RIR is now in isolation since she is being a bully.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by