Separating the bully in my group isn't helping!

kortiny

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
4
0
7
This is my first time raising chickens. I have had these three pullets for about 3 weeks now. They were all raised together, but a bully in the group has emerged. One of my girls is especially bullied, to the point where she was being pecked mercilessly, and had not laid a single egg.

After lots of research, I separated the bully for 4 days in a little "time out coop" in my basement. Finally my bullied poor girl laid her first egg, and it seemed like she was gaining confidence. The 4 day time out was up, so I brought the bully back into the pack. They free range during the day, and our backyard is pretty spacious. Lots of room to scratch and roam. Within minutes of bringing the bully back, the pecking and chasing began.

I have the bully back in "time out" but I am at a loss. I feel terrible keeping her in the basement, and I feel even worse when the other girl is being chased around the yard. What to do?

Thanks!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Not sure if you have seen them, but the Learning Center has a couple of good articles on bully chickens and what to do about them https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bullying-behavior-in-chickens and https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/a-guide-to-understanding-the-chicken-pecking-order If yours is that bad, I would consider Pinless Peepers, they are often a pretty quick fix for nasty girls. With only three girls there is only so much you can do about the pecking order itself if you have a really dominant hen, she is just going to stay dominant even if you make her establish herself. You are sure the bully is a hen, it has laid eggs?
 

kortiny

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
4
0
7
Yes, she has laid eggs. I struggle so much with this because she is the youngest in the group.... and though she bully's one of the girls, so is super friendly with humans. Her name is Adipose, and she is 8mth Plymouth Rock. I just love her spirit! She was the first in the group to come over and sit and talk with us.

I have read all the articles. We have half and acre back yard, they get treats, and they have a flock block I baked for more pecking fun! The bullying doesn't just occur around food, she will just take off across the yard and attack.

Is that normal?
 

Mehjr10

Songster
7 Years
May 17, 2012
1,417
91
148
Moscow, TN
Pecking order, in most cases they will work it out and in some cases the bully now may be the bullied in the future.
 
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