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My Ameraucana hens are being bullies... Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Flyinthecoop, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Flyinthecoop

    Flyinthecoop New Egg

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    Hi everyone! I have 5 Ameraucana hens ( I am pretty sure they are true Ameraucanas and not easter eggers but I am not an expert). They are so sweet, a bit skittish but over all the nicest ladies you will ever know. (Unless you try and visit without treats!!! If you do that they chase you around until you give up the goods) Clever gals! They live in a 4x4 coop with a 14 x14 run. In the evening they are allowed to free range in the yard. I got them from my local feed store in late February 2014 and I am impatiently waiting for my first eggs.

    We have recently developed a problem though. My smallest hen (named Buttercup) has always been the most skittish one. Today I noticed that the other ladies won't allow her to leave the coop without attacking her. I am really worried about it. I know that it is important to only intervene if blood is drawn but its hard to watch her sit in the coop all day in 90+ degree weather. She has access to food and water in the coop but she is too afraid to come down from the roosting bar to eat and drink. Anyone have any ideas on what I should do? Could this just be a pecking order thing or something else? Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry you are having issues. Sometimes it is one that starts it and the others follow. I would suspect the flock leader. I have one like this, well she used to be like this. She has aged enough, (3 1/2 years old) has mellowed a bit and the other hens can live in peace.

    But sometimes they become real monsters. And when one starts it, the others follow. So I would watch who is starting it and separate them out for the day. Keep them in a cage in the run, and see how this shy bird gets along. If this separation of the bully hen works, then you need to concentrate on her.

    I tried everything with my hen, but she was just too brutal. So I ended up using Pinless Peepers on her.
    [​IMG]
    This hen was a comb ripper and she even bit me. So she wore these peepers on and off for a month here and a month there. They can see to the side, up and down, but not directly in front of them to aim and point the beak. This will curb all aggression. You would keep them on the bird for about one month. You can then take them off. If and when they go back to being aggressive, put them on again for another month. These will stop an aggressive hen or hens. You can get them on line at some poultry supply places.

    Your shy girl cannot live in fear her entire life because of one or two birds. So if all else fails, use these on the offenders.

    Good luck and welcome to our flock!
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Sorry about the problems you are having with your aggressive hens, but TwoCrows has given you a good solution for dealing with them. If your local feed store does not carry pinless peepers, you can order them from Murray McMurray (see http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/pinless_peepers.html). Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in bringing your aggressive hens under control.
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Chickens get feisty when they are over crowded - your coop is really on the small side for 5 birds. I believe you said it was 4'x 4' which would give you 16 sq. feet. They need 20 sg. feet . Rule of thumb is 4 sg feet(min) per bird inside the coop and 10 sq. feet per
    bird in the outdoor run. Big birds need more room and if you live in an area where the winters are harsh, a bigger coop is better as they may have long periods of confinement.
     
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help

    You've received great advice from the above posters. Lots of space is the best solution to bullying.

    Good luck!:)
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Some great advice/links above, good luck with your hen.
     
  7. Flyinthecoop

    Flyinthecoop New Egg

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    Turns out they were all just crabby because they were going through the change! We got our first eggs a few days ago. It was so exciting, it felt like Christmas morning.
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    I'm glad your hens are getting along well now. Congratulations on your first eggs!
     
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     
  10. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG]
     

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