Red sex-link...possibly a killer :0(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mathesonfarm, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. mathesonfarm

    mathesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 1 red sex-link and I think she is killing my younger chicks! I know there is a pecking order but I think she might just be mean... When I first starting taking my baby chicks out, the other chickens would come up to them to see what they were all about and once in a while, give them a little chase but Lacy (my red sex-link) would run after them, jump on top of them and hold them down while really pecking the daylights out of them! I had to run up to her and yell to get her to stop! I kept the babies around me while they were out and she kept trying to come after them. I have the young chickens seperated from the big ones. I put a lg. dog cage inside of the coop and I put chicken wire around the bottom so they couldnt get out. I had one chick, Zip, who was the most loving chick and he some how got out and ended up dead :0( A few days later, my daughter put the chickens back in the coop but didnt put the little ones back in the cage and the next morning, my little BO was dead and had blood all over her face! There is absolutely no way for any type of preditors to get in, so I know that one of the chickens must have done it. How can I figure out which one is doing it...or do I already know....? Is it normal for chickens to hold the others ones down and peck them the way that Lacy does?
    BTW, my little chickens are 3 months old, so they are not all that little.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:My Red Star has attempted to do the same thing as yours... when my pullets were first starting out. I built a grow-out pen for the pullets so there wernt any confrontations, worked great. Mine is a witch! The only reason I havnt gotten rid of her is because she is an excellent layer...but she's walking on thin ice daily. She likes to start fights in an otherwise peaceful small flock. You know yours killed the young pullets and will attempt to get the rest of them if she can. You can keep the pullets seperated til they grow up ( in a grow-out pen) to be able to defend themselves or flee, or get rid of your Red Star.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chickens can be vicious and brutal with the pecking order issues. No doubt about it. Integration is sometimes difficult and must be managed carefully. I'm sorry your RSL is such a toughie, as they sure can be. Mine can be brutal, especially the dominant hens. I'm sorry for your loss. I have a half dozen 15 week olds that I face integration, but I will absolutely delay it until the new birds are very mature and can hold their own. If I rush it, I risk getting the younger ones injured.

    No everyone one has it this tough. But when you know you do, take very careful steps. Once accepted? My RSLs are just fine with their flock mates.
     
  4. mathesonfarm

    mathesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My Red Star has attempted to do the same thing as yours... when my pullets were first starting out. I built a grow-out pen for the pullets so there wernt any confrontations, worked great. Mine is a witch! The only reason I havnt gotten rid of her is because she is an excellent layer...but she's walking on thin ice daily. She likes to start fights in an otherwise peaceful small flock. You know yours killed the young pullets and will attempt to get the rest of them if she can. You can keep the pullets seperated til they grow up ( in a grow-out pen) to be able to defend themselves or flee, or get rid of your Red Star.

    That is the only reason that I havent gotten rid of her, she is my best layer! grrr... I think I might have to get rid of her if she continues this stuff! I am going to continue to monitor them and see if the situation gets better as they get bigger. But, I think I am going to just have the same problem this spring when I start hatching again. Shoot!

    Thank you so much for your advise, it really is appreciated!
     
  5. mathesonfarm

    mathesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    Chickens can be vicious and brutal with the pecking order issues. No doubt about it. Integration is sometimes difficult and must be managed carefully. I'm sorry your RSL is such a toughie, as they sure can be. Mine can be brutal, especially the dominant hens. I'm sorry for your loss. I have a half dozen 15 week olds that I face integration, but I will absolutely delay it until the new birds are very mature and can hold their own. If I rush it, I risk getting the younger ones injured.

    No everyone one has it this tough. But when you know you do, take very careful steps. Once accepted? My RSLs are just fine with their flock mates.

    Thank you! I might just have to get rid of her! I know they have to go through the pecking order but she is just unreal. I dont want to go through this all over again next spring. IDK....I guess we will see. Thanks again.​
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If she is the sole offender, or mainly the culprit, I'd integrate without her. I'd take her out for two weeks. Completely out and out of the daily contact. Then she would be the "new kid on the block" when you re-introduce her. Sometimes, when we integrate, we should think of disturbing the entire pecking order rather than just trying to get the littler pullets introduced at the bottom. In other words, take out the top leadership. That shakes thing up for everyone.

    Of course, she is your best layer. [​IMG] Not surprising.
     
  7. mathesonfarm

    mathesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 17, 2010
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    Fred's Hens :

    If she is the sole offender, or mainly the culprit, I'd integrate without her. I'd take her out for two weeks. Completely out and out of the daily contact. Then she would be the "new kid on the block" when you re-introduce her. Sometimes, when we integrate, we should think of disturbing the entire pecking order rather than just trying to get the littler pullets introduced at the bottom. In other words, take out the top leadership. That shakes thing up for everyone.

    Of course, she is your best layer. [​IMG] Not surprising.

    I am willing to try that but how exactly do I do it? I have only been a chicken owner for about 6 months and how never come across issues like this. Your help is greatly appreciated....everyone's is!​
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Since you are a new owner you haven't had time yet to start acquiring all the stuff you will need in your poultry keeping future. One of the things you will need is a quarantine cage, preferably with a wire bottom so it can also act as a broody buster in a pinch. I have several at this point ranging from cat carriers to dog crates to hamster cages. Whenever someone is giving away an old cage I take it because you never know when you might need to isolate a chicken or two.

    Remove your problem bird to the small cage for a couple weeks to a month. Keep her out of sight from the other birds. I generally put quarantined birds in my garage. I would keep her separate until the rest of the flock finishes integrating. Once the flock has established itself, set her loose into the group. She will be the new low man on the pecking order, and will be too busy defending herself to instigate any fights. Hopefully. Some birds are just born bullies and that's not going to change. You can separate them over and over, and they still are nasty birds. Try separation first and then go from there if it doesn't work.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    CMV gave you solid direction in the post above.

    Many of the difficulties that flock keepers face, over and over again, here on BYC, suggest the need for two pens, minimum. There is this need to have a multiple facilities for 1.) housing chickens for health isolation. 2) a safe place for a broody hen 3) a isolated brooding pen 4) behavior issue 5.) a grow out pen for juveniles, etc, etc.

    Once a flock keeper gets past the initial housing 3 or 4 chickens in a simple back-yard coop/run setup, the need to have flexible, arrangeable facilities with multiple pens, comes immediately into play. At minimum, having a large day cage or two for temporary quarters are pretty much a must haves.
     
  10. mathesonfarm

    mathesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 17, 2010
    New York
    WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for the knowledgeable information for all of you! I actually have a little section on the back of my coop that I built because a little boy gave me 5 quail eggs and they were going to need a home. Needless to say, the eggs were duds and the space is completely empty! I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and Im sure I was meant to have dud eggs so I would have a small coop for Lacy :0P You guys were awesome and I cant tell you how much I appreciate the help!

    One more thing....
    I always let my chickens out to free range during the day; should I let her out after I put them in or should I keep her in there at all times?
     

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