Pullet being bullied?

Two Dog Farm

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
3
0
7
I've had three five- to six-month-old Golden Comet pullets for two weeks and everything was great until a few days ago. I noticed one was staying in the hen house and not eating but was drinking. The other two run around their pen (8'x12' dog pen) and eat like crazy, while this one pecks some at the food and then walks away. There are no other signs of illness. I thought perhaps it had gone broody, but she didn't roll a plastic egg under herself when I put one in front of her. Yesterday morning I put her in the garage, and when I would go out to check on her she would start eating and she ate treats I gave her. This morning she was eating and looked fine, so I put her back outside with the other two pullets. I did a lot of work outside this afternoon so watched their behavior. She stayed outside with the others in the pleasant weather and pecked some food. When I took them a treat, the other two acted like they were starving and gobbled it up, while the other one watched and shyly pecked a little. I threw some of the treat away from the others so she could have some. But another one ran over and grabbed it. After the two were finished, she came over and pecked at the crumbs that were left. Have the other two pullets chased her away from food so she's afraid to eat? I have her back in the garage. As soon as I put her out there she started eating. I thought about leaving her in there for a couple of days to build up her strength if she hasn't been getting enough food, then taking her back outside and bringing one of the others into the garage for a couple of days to see if things improve with the one that hasn't been eating. What do you think? These are my very first chickens and I'm clueless!
 

ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
78
291
SC
For someone who claims to be clueless, you have a pretty good grip on the situation!
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Let her build her strength up. I'd just separate with wire somehow though, so they all interact but the bully can't get to her. Identify the bully, then swap her out for the timid one. (expect a bit of a ruckus) Then swap them all around again, as many times as it takes, chicken roulette!
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Oh my, I almost missed it!
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from South Carolina!
 
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welovechickens

Songster
10 Years
Mar 7, 2009
416
6
141
Round Rock
She's at the bottom of the pecking order, so she's nervous about being bullied....I agree, see if you can isolate the bully and let miss timid get acquainted with the other one before letting miss bully back in.
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Have fun with your girls!
 

Two Dog Farm

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
3
0
7
Thank you for your answers. Yesterday I put the timid one back outside and put the most food-aggressive one in the garage. The shy one was just fine with the other bird and started eating. The garaged bird escaped her pen and roosted on the garage door track. I put her back in the pen. This morning she was acting depressed, and this afternoon I swear she was having a nervous breakdown (shaking, making a sound like teeth chattering). At least she was sitting on an egg! So I put her back outside with the others, and everyone shared an ear of corn. I hope they get things worked out. If the timid one starts avoiding the food tray I'll try feeding her in another place. If that doesn't work and she seems to be starving, I'll probably give her away. I hate to do that as she's a so young and a great egg layer, but I don't have time to fight with chickens!
 

chickenlady08

Songster
10 Years
Jul 27, 2009
1,028
5
151
Eastern Shore, VA
Quote:
Why would you give the timid one away if she is acting fine without the bully? I would get rid of the bully or keep them separated but I wouldn't get rid of the timid girl,sometimes these turn out to be the best, if you give them some extra TLC they appreciate it. I have on many occassions brought a girl or as many as 5 girls into my garage and separated them from the rest of the pack. They love the extra attention and the alone time without the pesky roosters.

Good Luck and hope it all works out for your girls:)
 

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