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Never again. Bullying must be genetic.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BigDaddy'sGurl, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    My beloved andalusian hen, Beatrix, is a beast. She is only the second in command of the coop, but she is the only one who punishes the others on a consistent basis. The top hen, Pauline (BR) is mean too but she only does half-hearted attacks and will stop chasing to eat and is more content to establish herself on occasion, as opposed to Beatrix' "kill them all dead" approach. It's to the point that Beatrix stalks the others ALL DAY and only stops to eat or lay and then resumes. I watched her prevent two buff hens, that we just introduced this week, from eating AND drinking today and they have been together for 6 days now with NO improvement. I am honestly about to put Beatrix in a coop by herself permanently because temporary removal to isolation has only made it worse with her. She comes back with a VENGEANCE. I honestly think it is the "game bird" in her breeding, that's all I can figure.

    But I digress...the reason for this story was to show a genetic predisposition to aggressive behavior. On to Beatrix' son...a couple of months ago, I decided to incubate a few eggs from my hens. The rooster is a red cochin, so I knew that the babies would be mutts, but I was curious just the same. I ended up with several lovely chicks, including an andalusian cockeral that looks just like his mom! I also ended up with a chick that looks just like its BR mom! The BR lookalike is my fave, and the andalusian lookalike is my husband's fave. All has been well, a month after hatching, until now. The other day I noticed that the BR chick has fallen behind in growth and noticed I was hearing a LOT of "I'm in PAIN!!!" cries from the brooder on the porch. Watched closely the last couple of days and sure enough, Beatrix' evil spawn is beating the now-runt up constantly! This evening I finally gave up and separated the BR. Beatrix' son had pecked it so severely that it was actually bleeding from the back of its head. My only take on this is that the little BR must also be a cockeral because the other three chicks that were with them seem to all be pullets and maybe Beatrix' son took the BR as competition. Enough is enough. I don't need more roosters, and although they are both beautiful birds, I posted them a few minutes ago on a local freecycle to find new homes where they will be housed separately.

    All that said, and no offense to game-bird lovers out there, but I will NEVER own another "game" chicken. If I didn't love Beatrix sooo much, and if she didn't lay nearly daily, I would say goodbye to her too. I truly hope that my girl and her son are exceptions to game birds' personalities, and not the norm, because if they are normal, I feel for anyone who tries to integrate other breeds because I have had nothing but frustration.
     
  2. featherbaby

    featherbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    And yet another saga in the PECKING ORDER. Chickens may have invented it, but people are still trying to perfect it.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It might just be the line your bird is from. I hear game birds can be gentle and get along fine. I also hear that EE's are sweet creatures, but the ones I have ever gotten from the local feed stores are worse than the leghorns. Behavior is often linked genetically, so I'd just not breed from her and eventually you won't have "evil" birds in the flock.
     
  4. Chief

    Chief Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 17, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    I'm curious to see the "beast" of a hen. I have a lot of game breeds. I can tell you from experience that most of my game hens are only good when kept with other girls they grew up with. Even if they get separated for a short period they often never really get re-acquainted. I do know folks that have Game breeds that socialize well but mine don't usually. And they seem to get worse if the lowest on the pecking order is very timid. As far as the cockerel's go, if they are game at all you probably wont have any luck with them getting along with another male past 10 weeks or so. They are beautiful, but do take a lot more effort to "keep the peace". I have a lot of pens so they can have their own space if necessary. Or you could free range her, most game breeds do very well when free ranged.
    Good luck.
     
  5. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    chief, here's a pic of the "beast" in question lol


    and I completely agree with what everyone has said...it probably is just the line of birds that my girl came from. I have spoken to her breeder and learned that a rooster that was from the same hatch as beatrix is the meanest boy he has personally ever had...and I do not, as said in my title lol, plan to EVER intentionally reproduce her again. Overlook her rough appearance...she was molting at the time of the pic and has since regrown her feathers.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  6. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    just glanced outside this morning and Beatrix is actually allowing the buff girlies to scratch in the dirt...maybe my little talk with her last night helped. Basically spelled it out: any more constant mauling and your feathered behind goes in to the bachelor pad....bwaaahahahahahaha
     

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