Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tenderkat, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello All,

    About a month or so ago, I had to pull Margartet from the flock because she was absolutely trying to peck right into the head of Aunt Francie. I had another hen, Lily, die back in May, and this is when it started. For awhile, I had taken Aunt Francie and brought her into the house so she could heal. When I took her back out, Margaret went after her again, relentlessly. Just shredding her comb and wattles and ripping all her feathers out. So, I brought her back inside to heal and the same thing AGAIN when I put her back out. So, I decided that Margaret needed to be the one removed and she has been in a little makeshift cage alone in the yard, and she gets locked up alone in the shed at night.

    So a couple days ago I decided that I needed to reintegrate her back with the others, because it's not like I can continue this long term. Eventually winter will come and the setup she is in will simply not be enough to keep her warm. When I put her back in the run, she was fine for a short while, pecking and scratching around, pretty much minding her own business. Dear Aunt Francie on the other hand was absolutely mortified that I had brought Margaret back and tried to keep away from her and remain incognito. After about 20 minutes, Margaret finally spotted Aunt Francie and started right back to her old evil ways - she immediately jumped on top of Aunt Francie and started attacking her viciously!!!!! So, she's back out in her chicken jail AGAIN!

    I have no idea why Margaret hates Aunt Francie so much! They got along fine for two years, with the very minor occasional check and balance. But this has become down right violent, and I know that Margaret will kill Aunt Francie if left alone with her. She seems to leave the other two girls alone. Helen is at the top of the pecking order, so she keeps Margaret in her place. And although Margaret will peck on Doris Mae sometimes, she doesn't appear to be out to get her like she is with Aunt Francie.

    This makes me sad, because Margaret is generally very sweet and friendly with me, she is healthy, and she lays an egg almost every day at just over two years old. I just don't know what to do, but it appears that reintegrating her back into her flock will be impossible. And I'm sure she must be so lonely seperated all by herself.

    I've been thinking that I might need to rehome her to someplace with a bigger flock, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that.

    Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I think you need to just decide which chiken lays the better eggs or if you like Margaret or Aunt Francie better because those girls just aren't going to get along it sounds like. Maybe someone will take one of them off your hands. Margaret could probably hold her own in a new flock better since she is a bully.
  3. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    See, that was what I was afraid of..........

    Margaret is the best layer, and she really is one of my sweethearts. Especially now that I have been physically picking her up every morning and night to carry her back and forth from the shed for so long. I just love to cuddle her. I hate that she has become such a bully to Aunt Francie, and I sure wish I understood why. Aunt Francie, on the other hand has not been such a good layer. And she became so sickly back when Lily died and Margaret began beating up on her. Lately, her tail has been much more percky, she has her confidence and curiosity back. Her comb and wattles have healed up and her color and energy levels are so much better. I haven't noticed the tell-tale signs of her distress on the droppings board so often either. I honestly don't care if I ever get another egg out of her, I just want to see her healthy and happy. And I'd hate to send her out to a flock where she might end up getting bullied again or butchered because she doesn't lay. Margaret does seem the better choice to send away because she IS a bit more dominant AND she is definitely laying some good eggs.

    Any suggestions on the best way to insure success in finding a good home? Hypothetically of course, would anyone reading this ever consider taking in a hen such as Margaret?

    I was thinking of posting an ad on Craigslist. I thought that maybe she might do better in a much larger flock? My original flock was 6, and I think this allowed Margaret too much bullying room. Maybe someone with a rooster will take her in, and she would get put in her place a bit?! I was thinking that I could even offer to treat her for worms and lice/mites first and hang on to her until all was clear?

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