Mean hen is out of rehab . . .

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fargosmom, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2008
    Pasadena, CA
    But her behavior has not changed. Here's the background: I have two 2-year old hens (EE's), and this spring I got 5 new pullets. I started the pullets in the house, gradually moved them to the yard and free-ranged them with the 2 older hens to get them used to one another. When it felt right I moved them all into the main coop, which is when the lower-ranking older hen started bullying them. She would keep them penned under the hen house, keep them out of the henhouse at roosting time, and generally chase them if they tried to make a move into the run. I gave it some time but she was making everyone miserable, so I pulled her out and put her in "jail" (my tractor). Everyone else immediately breathed a sigh of relief and started acting like a flock (yes there's some pecking but nothing like what she was dishing out). She's been out of the flock for almost 2 months now (long story) so I started free-ranging her with the flock. She got her butt kicked by the older hen and one of the pullets, and was completely submitting to them, so I figured this meant they were ready to stand up to her. I moved her back into the coop, where she stayed out of everyone's way for exactly one day. Now she's back to her old behavior, and everyone else seems miserable again.

    How long do I give the situation to settle down? I really want to pull her out now, but I know my only other option is to rehome her and I can't imagine anyone will want her . . . even though she's also my best layer. But ultimately I want the rest of the girls to be happy and get some peace.

    What to do?
     
  2. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    Unfortunately she sounds like she's just uncurably mean. [​IMG] You have to decide how bad her abuse is, and if it will majorly impact your flock.

    If the answer is that her abuse is too much, unfortnately you're stuck with trying to re-home her or making her into stew. Nasty animals take all the joy out of keeping them. [​IMG]
     
  3. Backyard Barb

    Backyard Barb Out Of The Brooder

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    You could try putting peepers on her. I have a possy of 3 hens that has decided the smallest hen is the target for all of their frustrations. I peepered all 3 of them and they have a much harder time getting after the little one now. They still beat her up but nearly as badly.
     

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