Separate the bully or the bullied?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nutmeg1980, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. outdoorpodcast

    outdoorpodcast Out Of The Brooder

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    We pulled a bullied hen out for several months and kept her separated. Howevershe could see the other chickens thru wire. It took several months but the others eventually accepted her. Its a long term plan but she needs to be separated but allowed to see the others thru wire. Can u divide a portion od youe coop with wire to separate her
     
  2. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could possibly rig something up for her during the day but would it be okay if I put her in the coop house at night? It's been 12-15 here at night and she couldn't possibly stay outside in a separated area overnight by herself. Do you think it would be enough if she went into a day pen all day sharing a fence with the others and then I put her in at night to sleep with them? Also, daytime temps are 40 so I will still make her a little shelter with some straw for her to warm up periodically during the day I think.
     
  3. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One more question, in addition to the above... should I just put her in the separated pen or give her a friend. I have one barred plymouth rock that doesn't bother her at all - she's a sweetie... she was the one I had inside with her while slowly getting her used to another hen after being separated. What are your thoughts?
     
  4. outdoorpodcast

    outdoorpodcast Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the idea of giving her a friend while in isolation, but I'm far from an expert. When we separated our bullied chicken we tried separating her for 1 week and then 2 weeks to no avail. Each time we introduced her they would pick on her more. We finally pulled her out and kept her out. She was separated with wire so they could see each other but not get to her. It seemed to work. After several months we reintroduced her to them and they took to her and didn't have any more issues. Based on my experience I would suggest you keep her out for an extended period of time, but she has to have access to them via seeing them through wire of some sort. Maybe get a large dog crate and put in the coop with her in the crate or something like that.
     
  5. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so I built a little pen for her within the main pen. I included a little house with straw in it so she can get out of the wind, sun, rain, etc. I also put a friend in there with her - a super sweet barred plymouth rock that doesn't bother her at all. I do place both of them in the main house at night as she or the others don't seem to mind sleeping together. All the bullying goes on outside the house and in the pen. Every morning when I let them out, I place her and her friend in the separate pen where they can all see and interact with each other but no one can bully her. I will see how this all works out and give you an update in the future. Hopefully it doesn't take forever! Thanks for all the help and advice.
     
  6. outdoorpodcast

    outdoorpodcast Out Of The Brooder

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    Very nice! For us it "took" several months but that was mainly because we stopped trying after 2-3 failed attempts. They were just too brutal on her and after 2 times of her being bloodied and feathers pecked out, we decided to take her out for good. It wasn't until we cleaned the coop out that we were "forced" to put them all together and we noticed they stopped picking on her. So don't get discouraged if it takes time but it doesn't necessarily have to be months as in our case.
     
  7. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update - Over the course of the last few days, I would let the chickens out in the morning and it wouldn't take long before "Chubby Cheeks" (the bullied hen) would be standing at the door to her own little "coop". She knew that was HER safe place. I would leave her with another sweet hen most of the day but would go out in the afternoon and let her out to observe her behavior with the other chickens. If they started in on her or she seemed especially scared or stressed, I would let her go back in her separate cage. It got a little better each day. Today, when I let her out of the main house, she didn't immediately run for her safe place, so I fed them all and scattered the food so she could eat freely. Other chickens joined her without bothering her at all and she wasn't "flinching" anymore at every other chicken that came near her. I left her out in the run with everyone all day and although there is still a little bullying going on from one hen in particular, Chubby Cheeks has definitely built up her confidence and now sometimes even stands up for herself against others.She stopped running to hide under me or in the house - although she sometimes will still run to the other end of the run for a few moments before venturing back. I am hopeful that they will all continue to work everything out. Thanks for all the advice and I'm so glad to have something work!
     
  8. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now that you've identified the main bully, cull her. Either rehome her or eat her and your bully problems will probably stop altogether.
     
  9. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I waited things out and the one that seemed to be doing the bullying eventually settled down and of all things is also low on the pecking order... Chubby Cheeks is not afraid anymore - there's no more fighting going on (except for the normal occasional stand-off & peck) - although she is still at the bottom of the pecking order along with a couple others. They seem to have to wait their turn for feeding... but no more running and hiding in the coop.
     
  10. Condockns

    Condockns New Egg

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    How can you tell which one is the bully? We have 21 chickens. Only 2 are being pecked.
     

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