Low pecking order bully

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,578
147,282
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Also, I should say that the bigger issue is that the girls aren't developing any sense of how to get in and out of the coop. I have to push them out every morning and put them in and shut the door each night.
How big is your coop and run?
You don't have a coop page, so I'll ask here for dimensions and pics.
Is it just the newbs that are silkies or are all the birds silkies.
I guess they'd have trouble getting up onto something?
 

Ponypoor

Crowing
May 23, 2021
1,130
6,620
331
Central Ontario, Canada
Had to deal with a bully this week also, my 9 week old roosterlets have been getting along but a few days ago I was checking the horses on the barn cams when I could hear all this squawking and screaming from the chickens; I was able to see the one largest Roo (Rusty) was just beating the snot out of the smaller of the Roos (Buzz).

I didn't think much of it but it continued the next morning so much so that Buzz started hanging out with me in the office. I noted he wouldn't even hang out with the pullets but would just come in here sit at my feet for protection (smart bird!), this has been going on for 3 days. Just now I noticed he wasn't here in the office, went to see where he was and lo and behold there he was with the other Roos laying in the sun. Are they getting along better? maybe.... One thing is for sure, as with any 'society' there will always be leaders, followers, and big-bad-bullies, and chicken like us just need to learn how to cope and deal with societal norms!

Of course if one chicken-bully becomes a problem then you can always sell that bird. A wise horsewoman once said 'sometimes you just need to pull the shoes off one horse, and put them on another'. Of course she also said 'it costs just as much money to feed a bad horse as it does and good horse' !!! Chickens and dogs also apply to that one!
 
May 28, 2020
473
587
186
Bonney Lake, Washington
How big is your coop and run?
You don't have a coop page, so I'll ask here for dimensions and pics.
Is it just the newbs that are silkies or are all the birds silkies.
I guess they'd have trouble getting up onto something?

Coop is 5x5, run is 12x5. For most of the day I let them out into an extended run space that's probably 800 sq ft and filled with clutter, has a bush, multiple feeds and waterers.

I put in a lower roost and step for the new silkies, but our original silkie has no problem with the ramp system we had before the low roost.
 

Ponypoor

Crowing
May 23, 2021
1,130
6,620
331
Central Ontario, Canada
Coop is 5x5, run is 12x5. For most of the day I let them out into an extended run space that's probably 800 sq ft and filled with clutter, has a bush, multiple feeds and waterers.

I put in a lower roost and step for the new silkies, but our original silkie has no problem with the ramp system we had before the low roost.
My silkies refuse to use the roosts and still roost on the floor, they have no problem jumping up on the roosts or up the ramp into the nest box. Tried and tried to get them onto that roost but they just wont.
 

Jenjens

Songster
Jun 5, 2019
228
311
133
IL
The lowest existing bird is always the most aggressive to newbies.
Either they are protecting their place in the order,
or are just glad to have a minion to pick on.

I just let them work it out....
...but I have lots of space, 'hiding' places, multiple feed/water stations, and a couple lower roosts for the newbs.
I have found this to be so true. My girl which was the lowest of the pecking order seems to have some sadistic pleasure in tormenting my newest ones. It will be a year in October, and it has been better, but it really did take about maybe 6 months for her to calm down. It is very stressful.
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,756
21,877
827
Gower, Wales
my aggressive hen is 3rd in the pecking order (in a flock of c.20). She just wants the feeding bowl to herself (everyone else is more or less happy to share) and pecks anyone except her superiors and the roos who dare to eat with her (and even they prefer to dine elsewhere!). She will also strike an opportunistic blow at anyone inferior passing, so they give her a wide berth. She's not an independent hen, so is usually foraging with the other seniors of the flock, so it's not a sociability issue, just plain aggression :rolleyes:
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,721
286
West Virginia
I put in all of that - hiding, feeders, waterers, lower roosts, and the little ones still find the few corners to back themselves into. :( How long does it usually take for them to work it out?
I've seen it work immediately if everything was cleaned and moved and new stuff added. "New" chickens should be placed in to the "new" coop and run first though before you let any of your old flock in.This step some don't do which can cause it to fail.
 
May 28, 2020
473
587
186
Bonney Lake, Washington
By the way, for those who might stumble on this thread later, things are going fine now! Still pecking here and here, but they’re getting more confident and starting to find their own place in the pecking order. It took about two weeks for me to stop feeling bad for how scared they were. They’re dramatic here and there but doing well.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 2

Ponypoor

Crowing
May 23, 2021
1,130
6,620
331
Central Ontario, Canada
By the way, for those who might stumble on this thread later, things are going fine now! Still pecking here and here, but they’re getting more confident and starting to find their own place in the pecking order. It took about two weeks for me to stop feeling bad for how scared they were. They’re dramatic here and there but doing well.
All chickens are Drama Queens I find :)
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,283
41,753
983
Belding, MI
I've seen it work immediately if everything was cleaned and moved and new stuff added. "New" chickens should be placed in to the "new" coop and run first though before you let any of your old flock in.This step some don't do which can cause it to fail.
I couldn't do it quite like this. I had the run and the coop separated into two areas; one for the chicks, one for the adults. I had a "mean" hen (bottom of the pecking order) who pecked the chicks when she could reach them through the fence.

For about 3 weeks, I put mash snack on both sides of the fence, so that they could get used to eating together, but meanie would peck every time she could.

On "opening day" when I took down all the fencing, I shut meanie into a crate for 4 days. The next morning when they came out, everything was rearranged and there were new things added to the run.

I let her out at lockup on the 4th day. She made a beeline for the coop and got on the roost.

Things have been going better than I thought they would. They don't join wings and sing Kum Ba Ya, but they sort of get a long. The meanie will peck the chicks more than the others, but I've seen them all do it. The chicks are learning their place in the flock. Ie, out of the way of the adults.

I have 3 feed stations and 3 waterers, split up all around the run. When I go out in the morning, I sprinkle food on the ground in various places, so there is something for everyone to find and eat.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom