Little Girl getting Pecked and being pushed away

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cockadoodledon't, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Cockadoodledon't

    Cockadoodledon't Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know that Chickens have a distinct pecking order, however, lately have been dealing with one of my little girls being really bullied by the other birds. I have had these birds 2 years and they have been together since they were chicks.
    I had 2 birds that the Rooster had ridden to the point they had no feathers on their backs on on their heads.
    I noticed that one of the birds has been bullied to the point she cannot even come out of the chicken house.
    I separated the 2 birds while they feathered back out...and even removed the Roo. BUT...the moment I put the hen back in the "general population" the bully behavior began again.
    I lost two birds this summer during the heat....and hate to have this new development.

    Any thoughts? I am to the point that if I could pin it down to one bird causing the problem...she may become a
    ""SPECIAL guest"" for dinner. At this time...I have 6 hens and a Roo.

    Thank you for any comments you may offer.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    You may just have to find another home for her if she keeps being picked on and you can't find who's doing it. If you took a friend out with her and then introduced them both back but they only pick on her, then they probably still will each time. Do you have a place she could be separated into and maybe get her some new buddies?

    I've got two EE hens in with my Marans hens, and an Ameraucana roo. He absolutely despises one of the EE girls for some reason and any time he can he gets her by the head and pecks her down til she's bleeding. She's submissive and just lays there. He never tries to breed her but only pick on her. He does this to no other hens and no one else picks on her except him. She's not lowest on the pecking order either so I don't know why he does it. As soon as my neighbor gets their place set up, she said she'll take him. I'd tried separating her, keeping her with buddies and putting both back together and he still does it. She knows to look out for him but I still don't want that to happen over and over to her. She's one of my best layers and very sweet so he's being ousted instead [​IMG].
     
  3. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    I have hen that is particularly mean. I started doing some of the things they say for mean roos. Carry them around, show them who is boss with a little peck on their head, make tehm back away from you, etc. Seems to calm her down. She is not drawing blood anymore on the other hens. I don't have a roo (grown anyway) adn I made her think I was th roo. She even squats for me now.

    Injuries and blood is where I draw the line from pecking order to brutality.
     
  4. Cockadoodledon't

    Cockadoodledon't Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am afraid I may have to rehome her.
    I bought a roll of orange construction fence to put up a temporary small run to keep her in. I think its strange this behavior happens now since it never did before.
    The rooster is hard on some of the girls. He is very ""Attentive"" to some of them with her being one of them. He got near her for the first time in a few weeks yesterday and she immediately squatted for him. He is not gentle when he mounts them. Any other time he exhibits gentle behavior for a roo.
    Thank you for your reply.


    Quote:
     
  5. carpetbeggar

    carpetbeggar Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2008
    Cockadoodledon't :

    I know that Chickens have a distinct pecking order, however, lately have been dealing with one of my little girls being really bullied by the other birds. I have had these birds 2 years and they have been together since they were chicks.
    I had 2 birds that the Rooster had ridden to the point they had no feathers on their backs on on their heads.
    I noticed that one of the birds has been bullied to the point she cannot even come out of the chicken house.
    I separated the 2 birds while they feathered back out...and even removed the Roo. BUT...the moment I put the hen back in the "general population" the bully behavior began again.
    I lost two birds this summer during the heat....and hate to have this new development.

    Any thoughts? I am to the point that if I could pin it down to one bird causing the problem...she may become a
    ""SPECIAL guest"" for dinner. At this time...I have 6 hens and a Roo.

    Thank you for any comments you may offer.

    [​IMG]

    What I've done before is take the ones being picked on and separate them from the rest, then start re-introducing the other ones back in with them, instead of vice-a-versa. Leave the most aggressive hens for last. Basically try to create a new peaking order. Good for smaller flocks. For larger ones just try to single out the aggressive ones if you can pin them down.
    I have three different flocks of varying sizes at the moment. One with 21 hens, another with 6 hens and a rooster and another with 3 hens and a baby hatched by one of them a month and a half ago. Then I have one rooster kept by himself as he doesn't play well with others or with humans. I let him free range with the smallest flock I have a few days a week, but he sleeps separate. That seems to work best for all involved, including me. [​IMG] The two smaller flocks usually change every couple months due to who's getting along with who at the time and whether the rooster starts wearing out any of the hens. Chickens need time apart sometimes too.[​IMG]
     
  6. Cockadoodledon't

    Cockadoodledon't Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very nice information. Thank you.. That sounds like something that could work for me.


    Quote:What I've done before is take the ones being picked on and separate them from the rest, then start re-introducing the other ones back in with them, instead of vice-a-versa. Leave the most aggressive hens for last. Basically try to create a new peaking order. Good for smaller flocks. For larger ones just try to single out the aggressive ones if you can pin them down.
    I have three different flocks of varying sizes at the moment. One with 21 hens, another with 6 hens and a rooster and another with 3 hens and a baby hatched by one of them a month and a half ago. Then I have one rooster kept by himself as he doesn't play well with others or with humans. I let him free range with the smallest flock I have a few days a week, but he sleeps separate. That seems to work best for all involved, including me. [​IMG] The two smaller flocks usually change every couple months due to who's getting along with who at the time and whether the rooster starts wearing out any of the hens. Chickens need time apart sometimes too.[​IMG]
     
  7. AngelaClassAct

    AngelaClassAct Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2011
    This post comes at a good time and is along the same lines of the OP, so I'm looking forward to your feedback!

    I have 11 ladies I got as day old chicks (Aracaunas/Wyandottes/Buffs). Then I got 6 18 week old pullets (RIR/Leghorn crosses) in May/June, and I introduced them to the existing birds we got in the spring. The introduction went smoothly, and the older ladies sorted out the pecking order and bullied the younger ones a bit, but it wasn't at all what I expected. The older ladies seemed to rise to the top rather quickly.

    Recently I noticed some of the RIR/Leghorn crosses don't look as fresh and healthy as they once did. They seem dirty to me, and one looks like she's thinning out a little. They are debeaked (didn't know this was a practice when I ordered them, forgive me!)....so I don't know if the debeaking has anything to do with the cleanliness part of thinngs. Everyone was getting along fine. But today I noticed one of my big girls was roosting during the day, I thought she was waiting to lay an egg. And she just looked pretty pathetic and dirty. So, I cleaned her up a little held her, gave her some treats and let her be. Everytime I went out to check things out in the coop, she was still roosting. Then later today my DH went out to see the ladies and saw the same chicken leaving the coop and getting bombarded by the other ladies. What he noticed is that the day old chicks we raised are the ones being the bullies.

    I went in when they were all roosting, and she's on the very bottom of the roost, and because I re-arranged their roost incorrectly, it seems she's getting pooped on since I don't have all the bars angled so droppings don't hit anyone. I'm not sure if the bullying started when I rearranged the roost, but of course I'm blaming myself for what happened. And, I'm about to rearrange their roost again by creating a poop ledge (story for another time!).

    In any event...I don't know what to do. I don't have the time or energy to begin confining ladies and trying to figure out who's the biggest bully and who to try and manage. Maybe that makes me a bad chicken keeper, but it is the reality of things. I know there's a pecking order, but I'm actually pretty sad for this chicken, I'm sure she's miserable and will continue to be miserable and part of why I am keeping chickens is to give them a good life while they are here. The DH said to let nature work itself out, but....I guess I'm really attached to the ladies and I don't want to see this poor girl suffer.

    Any ideas on what may be going on? Could she be sick?
     

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