Older Hen getting bullied

crazychick26201

Songster
8 Years
Jun 1, 2013
159
54
162
West Virginia
I posted earlier this fall about my old hen, age 8 1/2 getting bullied by a 2 year old hen. Both are Buff Orpingtons in a flock of eight. As suggested I isolated the bully hen for 3 days in the basement and then in a dog crate in the run for a couple days where the others could see her. When I let her out she acted like she didn’t remember ever living there. She was at the bottom of the pecking order for a while and has been working her way up. Last week the bullying started again. She jumps on my old gal and tears at her comb. An attack, really. My old hen is molting and moves really slow. She can’t fight this young girl off any more. So this time I isolated her for a week and then put her out in the crate in the run for a couple days. This time I witnessed her pecking the younger hens through the crate and having staring stand offs with the older hens. When I let her out yesterday within a couple hours she attacked my old gal again. Now she is back in the crate. I need advice as to what to do next. Should I isolate her for longer, put pinless peepers on her, or put the old hen and a friend together in a new coop? I have one ordered😬($$). Rehoming would be difficult as we are going into winter and I don’t know others who have chickens. Culling her is not an option. She is a beautiful healthy Buff and a good egg layer. This is causing me a lot of stress. I did not think my old hen and this bully would remember each other, but they do. Is it safe for a hen to be crated in freezing temperatures for a long time? Please help!!!
 

gimmie birdies

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Feb 12, 2013
12,322
22,367
792
Eastern WA
I have an older hen that age too, my avatar.
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I keep her separate with some mesh windows to the other hens.
I have some chicks hatching when they are old enough to go outside, (9 weeks) I am going to put her in the same separate grow out pen, then she will have friends. Then I plan on letting all out in the spring, (I have snow here and if I try to blend too soon they will get chased some place and freeze.) There should be enough young hens with her group when the blend happens she will not get singled out. And she will have friends.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,722
13,990
656
western South Dakota
Always solve for peace in the flock. It ruins the enjoyment of the flock to watch abuse. I would try the pin-less peepers ASAP. If that does not work, then I would remove one of the birds. Being harassed is ugly, and it is behavior that can get started and spread.

Some birds just do not fit into a flock, but will do better in another flock. I would probably give the coop de grace to the old bird, but she might be a favorite of yours, if so, I would move the laying hen to someone else. She is a prime age, and laying, someone will buy her.

But what you are doing is not working, need to try something else. I would try the peepers. They seem to work very well, from what I have read. If they don't, I would remove one of the birds. I hate that tension in my flock.

Good luck, chicken keeping can be so rewarding, but this kind of behavior can just ruin it.

Mrs K
 

crazychick26201

Songster
8 Years
Jun 1, 2013
159
54
162
West Virginia
Always solve for peace in the flock. It ruins the enjoyment of the flock to watch abuse. I would try the pin-less peepers ASAP. If that does not work, then I would remove one of the birds. Being harassed is ugly, and it is behavior that can get started and spread.

Some birds just do not fit into a flock, but will do better in another flock. I would probably give the coop de grace to the old bird, but she might be a favorite of yours, if so, I would move the laying hen to someone else. She is a prime age, and laying, someone will buy her.

But what you are doing is not working, need to try something else. I would try the peepers. They seem to work very well, from what I have read. If they don't, I would remove one of the birds. I hate that tension in my flock.

Good luck, chicken keeping can be so rewarding, but this kind of behavior can just ruin it.

Mrs K
Thanks, Mrs. K. I have been trying to allow the aggressive hen to mingle with the flock with supervision. I have put extra scratch, toys etc. out so the flock will have lots to do. It has been going well but today she jumped on my old gal again. So she is back in the crate. I have no idea why this bullying started out of the blue. Or the development of this aggressive nature in a formerly sweet Buff. Today I had to pull another hen off one of my younger hens. She was mounting her like a rooster. This behavior never happened prior to the bully problem. I think it is stressing the whole flock. Has anyone here had success with pinless peepers for bullies?
 

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