Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by halfwaynowhere, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. halfwaynowhere

    halfwaynowhere Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    La Puente, CA
    I have a problem with my girls.

    I currently have two hens in my "big" coop (which is big enough for 4-6 hens). I have Beulah, an older Australorp, and Paisley, an EE.

    Then I have my two younger girls (not quite laying yet, but soon!) in a smaller tractor. I have Alice, a white leghorn, and Norma-Jean, a light brahma. Norma-Jean is our favorite, but she gets picked on. A few weeks ago I tried mixing the girls (I had another EE pullet at that time, as well) but that was a mistake. The older girls had no problems with Alice, but they did a number on Norma-Jean. Her injury was pretty bad, I was thinking of culling, but didn't have the heart. She did heal just fine, so I'm glad I "chickened" out. After I had removed Norma-Jean, the older girls went after Penny, the EE pullet, and she died. I immediately removed Alice from the coop, put her back in the tractor, and when Norma-Jean was healed, I put her back in the tractor with Alice.

    All was well for a week or two, and now Alice has pecked open Norma-Jean.

    I think with my older girls, the problem is with Paisley, the EE. Beulah is so laid back I doubt she'd be an issue. My original plan was to re-introduce the younger girls to Beulah, and put Paisley in the tractor by herself. The tractor really is too small for two LF birds. But now that Alice has been picking on Norma-Jean too, I really don't know what to do. I'd like to keep Norma-Jean, but I don't want her getting picked on. I don't want her to be alone, either. I was originally hoping everyone would get along in the coop, and I was going to get a couple of bantam hens to live in the tractor, but that's not going to happen. Maybe Norma-Jean would get along with a bantam of some sort? Maybe a silkie?
     
  2. mommahen64

    mommahen64 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2011
    Attleboro
    Hi, I'm no expert but my three old english bantams are mean to my other younger birds. I'm sorry you're having trouble but I'm glad you are trying to help the sweet hen. It's awful to see them picked on. I think I have read that removing the alpha will reset the pecking order and may help. Good luck!!
     
  3. halfwaynowhere

    halfwaynowhere Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    La Puente, CA
    still looking for advice, though we have a few new ideas...

    Paisley, the mean EE, seems to be developing rooster traits. I posted in another thread that I've been hearing what sounds like crowing coming from my girls sometimes in the morning. Her pea comb is getting taller and redder, and her tail feathers are actually starting to curl downwards. I've heard of it happening before, but its still a weird concept to me.

    Norma-Jean has learned how to get out of the tractor. We're going to put a lock on the latch so she can't get out anymore. We have decided to let Paisley free-range in the backyard until we can figure out what to do with her. Alice has been introduced to Beulah again, and there seems to be no problems there. Norma-Jean is by herself in the tractor. I'll be contacting someone later this evening who will be setting some extra eggs in her incubator so we'll have chicks again. I'm going to try to get Norma-Jean to brood them, and I'll only be selecting breeds known for being docile. I'm hoping she'll be able to raise a few chicks and we'll get a second coop built for them.

    Norma-Jean is such a sweety, I'm thinking she'll make a great mommy, and will raise people-friendly babies.
     

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