My generously smaller chick is getting bullied, should I take her out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ForestAlice, May 26, 2016.

  1. ForestAlice

    ForestAlice Out Of The Brooder

    34
    1
    31
    Mar 10, 2016
    US
    Hey guys. My flock has all grown up, and they've moved to a safe spot outside in a coop with a run. Ill have to post pictures at some point. Anyways, one of my chickens,(I call her Little Honey) is really really small compared to my other chicks. they're not fully grown yet of course, so I figured little honey isn't getting enough to eat or maybe she was the last one to hatch and she just needs to catch up. There is a possibility that she's getting bullied out of eating by the other chicks, though. I see the bigger ones chasing her around and pecking at her. She'll have to run and hide but I"m not sure if she's completely safe. And to only make me worry more, she's completely imprinted on me.
    When I went down to feed everyone this morning, she was running around trying to get to me from inside the coop. I got inside and she completely flopped down on my lap and went onto her side and stuck her legs out. Thats when I was pretty sure that she felt safe with me.

    So yeah basically I want to move little honey inside the house for a little while and keep track of her. She'd have her own cage, and she'd be getting everything she needs and more. But whats worrying me about that is what about when she gets big enough and I can move her back into the coop with her flock, are they still going to bully her? Will she be big enough to defend herself, and set the pecking order straight? Will they reject her? I'm pretty clueless.
     
  2. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    177
    121
    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I'd see first if you can set up some spaces where she can run and hide where the others can't get to her. You can also set out two or more feeders so she has a chance to get some grub. Just my two cents but I think it'd be a mistake to separate her unless it's an emergency like due to a bleeding injury where her life would be in danger due to the others pecking. Other than that though I'd leave her alone so she can find her place. Separating her could be the worse thing for her. I know it's hard to turn your back but there's not much else long-term you can do.
     
  3. ForestAlice

    ForestAlice Out Of The Brooder

    34
    1
    31
    Mar 10, 2016
    US
    Thank you! I'll set out some more feeders and keep my eyes open.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,530
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Taking her out at this point is just going to make things worse down the road. Leave her in, make sure there are plenty of hiding spots, and set up another feeder. You can also scatter feed on the ground twice a day or so, that will give them all something to do besides pick on the little one. Anything you do to change the environment a little bit will distract them. Bored birds tend to entertain themselves by picking on others. Even something as small as putting a few bricks, stones, a branch, piece of firewood, empty flower pot, things like that....they'll give the birds something to "talk about".
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,878
    2,852
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The others have given you spot-on advice. I have nothing to add other than to point out that you have two options and no real compromise.

    You can take her out of the flock, but it would need to be permanent since returning her would make things impossible for her, compared to presently just being unpleasant.

    You can leave her with the flock and try to assist her in developing self confidence. Timid, small chickens can rise in the social order over time, and hold their own against the pecking order.

    I had such a hen. She was a Silver-laced Wyandotte and smaller than the rest. She was picked bald on her back and wings and needed special intervention but not removing from the flock. Over time, she rose to the top of the pecking order and was a hen to be reckoned with.

    Make sure you have plenty of space, perches in the run for her to fly to, several feeding stations, and watch to see if there's anything else you might change or add that will add to her advantage.
     
  6. ForestAlice

    ForestAlice Out Of The Brooder

    34
    1
    31
    Mar 10, 2016
    US
    Hey guys. I ended up making the decision of moving the chick that was bullying Little Honey into a cage inside of the coop. Now he can see the whole flock and they can see him, but he can't bully anyone. It worked out perfectly, but he hasn't stopped bullying the other chickens when he gets out of the cage when I feed him. Not sure what to do after this step, though. Will he eventually stop bullying the other chickens?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by