Rosie is a bully

Crusty McPottydoodle

14 Years
Mar 14, 2009
The Wet Coast
Today I picked up 2 almost full grown pullets. 1 Australorp and 1 Araucana. Neither have had their beaks clipped. I added them to Rosie (my ISA Brown with a clipped beak) and she is running rough-shod over both of them, but particularly the Araucana (who is a bit younger).

Do I just leave them to it to figure out what's what? Is there much chance that Rosie could do damage to the new girls? Is it better that they are free in the run, or would it be better to shut them up in the henhouse where it would be dark?

And here I was worried that Rosie might be the one who would be bullied.
She's just letting the newbies know she is the boss. Best to let them have access to the run so they have more room to get out of her way, if necessary.
If she is not drawing blood, let them figure it out. If she gets too bad, seperate her for a few days. Seperating her will knock her down off of her high horse.
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Thanks Gritsar. That's pretty much what I was thinking, but second guessing myself and worrying and just needed reassurance. It's hard to let them work it out. I'm the same way with dogs. I know what needs to happen, but have a hard time sitting back and letting nature work.
Okay, so the new pullets have buried their heads underneath the hen-house (it's raised 6 inches off the ground). Just their back ends hanging out. Rosie is pretty much leaving them alone there, but she does keep going over to them (almost like she's making sure they just stay put).

Any idea how long I should leave Rosie to play bossy hen? Can you tell I am not a patient person?

If they get thirsty enough (they are on grass at the moment whilst we build the new coop, so I don't think they will starve) will they come out and stand their ground?
Not necessarily. If she's a big enough bully she can keep them from food and water. Of course with two of them the odds are stacked against her.
Can you isolate her for a few hours, in a dog crate or such, to give the newbies some breathing room?
I decided to take my laptop outside to work on my English paper, so I took Rosie out of the coop and am letting her range around the yard. Hopefully the pullets will come out of their hiding place under the hen-house.

Gosh she's a meany.
My coop setup has a permanent run on the pop door side of the hen-house and a temporary set up on the back side.

No matter which side of the hen-house the new pullets went, Rosie would follow and bother them until the huddled under the house.

A while after I put Rosie back in the coop (she had been ranging for a couple of hours and she kept going back to the coop and clearly wanted in), I looked outside and she was in the main run, but the pullets were up and about in the back run. Progress.

I just went out to put the girls to bed. Rosie had already gone and the pullets were back under the house. Of course Rosie was interested in what was going on as I was trying to get the pullets out from under, so I had to shut her in until I was ready to put the pullets to bed. I figured her being out in the run too, would be trouble.

Anyway, I got the girls out from under. I was able to open the door to the house and the pullets seemed interested in going in, but then Rosie came to the door and they moved away. Fortunately, I kept Rosie from coming out as I caught the Australorp. She went in quite easily and there wasn't much kerfuffle going on. The Araucana was a little feistier and harder to catch, but she is smaller and I could just toss her through the door. I shut everything up tight and all I heard was some shuffling and at least one chicken jump up on a perch.

So far, so good.

Tomorrow night will be the real test. I have class tomorrow night and so Feller will be the one to put the girls to bed.
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