New to Hens....bullying??

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by stephdownsouth, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. stephdownsouth

    stephdownsouth Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2014

    One of my hens (RIR) got a nasty virus. After she was treated with antibiotics (during which she was isolated from the rest of the flock - 3 others) we reintroduced her. We let them roam in the yard then they went up for the night. The following morning, they seemed to be fine but when I came home for lunch she was nearly dead, she had been so badly beaten up. I rushed her to the vet, she is BACK on antibiotics and pain killers and we've been told to keep her separated for a month and gradually re-introduce her (I wish they told us this 2 weeks ago).
    My question is, can there be 1 alpha / bully hen? We have no roosters. The 3 others are: 1 RIR, 2 Americaunas. The Am. both have missing tail feathers where they are being pecked at, and the healthy RIR has no missing tail feathers. I did not see who beat up the recovering RIR so I cannot be sure, but if I have a bully I would rather weed her out now.....
    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    I'm sorry about your hen. [​IMG] Hopefully she recovers!

    Yes, there can be one "bully" hen. Since your Rhode Island Red is the only one with all her feathers, I think it is safe to assume that she is the feather picker. Getting rid of her could solve your pecking problems, though it is possible that another bird would then take her place as the new flock bully.

    When your picked on hen does recover, you definitely need to take it slow re-introducing her, even if you get rid of the bully. I would recommend introducing them in a large area, under your supervision. There will be some fighting/sparring, but unless blood is drawn, don't intervene. They have to work it out on their own and develop a new pecking order.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Sorry to hear about your hen! Its good that she survived. X2 on Bantamlover21's advice. Some hens are just mean, and it may be a good idea to get rid of the bully.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry about your hen. There can only be one flock leader, but there can be several bullies in the flock. Usually it is the flock leader that starts things, but not always. What I would do in this situation is get your injured hen healed up first. If she is ok enough to keep out in the coop, keep her in a cage right within the flock. While she is healing, you might order some pinless peepers. I have a hen that used to be worse than a rooster in aggressiveness. She was brutal with the hens, ripping combs, and even biting me! I was finding blood all over the place and missing pieces of combs. I tried separating her in "jail" for weeks on end, but it did no good. Even tried complete isolation. But her aggressiveness continued. So I got some pinless peepers and she wore these on and off for 3 years....
    This will stop them from being aggressive. They can't see straight in front of the to aim and fire off their beaks. They can however see up, down and to the sides. Takes them a day or so to master seeing with one eye in front of them, but this will stop aggressive hens. You can get these at a few places here on line.

    So, keep this injured hen within the flock for a few weeks as she is healing. In about 3 weeks, you can let her mix. Do this on a day you can hang around for a couple hours and watch. The bird or birds that go after her in an aggressive way, put these peepers on them. Leave these on the birds for one month. This will help the injured hen to readjust and usually one month is long enough to adjust the aggressive ones attitudes.

    This hen here still gets cranky, although at her age of 3 1/2 years old is not as bad as she used to be. She has not had to wear these peepers this year yet, however occasionally I will cage her for the day if she feels the need to rip a comb.

    Good luck with your birds! I hope your injured hen heals up soon. :)
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Sorry about your bird![​IMG]

    Two Crows and Bantam Lover have given you great advice.

    Pinless peepers are a great way to help picking. And like Two Crows said, you should isolate the injured bird to prevent further damage.
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]I hate bullies - other than saying "off with her head," maybe she would do better in someone else's flock - where she would be the newcomer and the established hens would quell her desire to be Queen of the coop.

    Hope your hen mends quickly
  8. stephdownsouth

    stephdownsouth Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2014
    Thank you all for the advice!!! I appreciate it a bunch [​IMG]
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG]

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