Separating the Bully - isolation or?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KellyLyn, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. KellyLyn

    KellyLyn Out Of The Brooder

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    Does the bully need to be kept in complete isolation- not to be seen or heard?

    Regina (aka Maleficent) is a big beautiful black Australorp with shiny black eyes and an evil streak a mile wide. It's obvious she is queen of the roost, her feathers glow while all her 4 peers have wounds and missing patches. I admire her like I would a successful bad guy. She hasn't killed anyone... yet; and when I hang out with my flock I have never caught her being particularly aggressive.

    It's Fall and my DH was working outside and noticed that she was violently attacking, chasing, grabbing wings and tugging hens around.

    I'm guessing she is battling with the 5 newbies that are near laying age now and while all spring and summer they have integrated well or at least kept to themselves - they would be mature enough to begin challenging her now.

    I will separate her - as I have seen advised here. I have a large open wire cage that I can keep inside the coop. However, she will see and be seen by the flock as they roost at night and feed and water themselves during the day.

    The purpose is to take her down a notch on the pecking order, right? If so then having her see and be seen to be on the floor while the rest of the flock roosts helps this? Or not?

    I'm hoping that 1) the next queen won't be as vicious; 2) that I'm not giving the flock more grief by not letting the power struggle play out...and 3) that when Regina is released from prison - she not be worse - kicking butt and taking names on her way back up.

    Sigh. All advice is appreciated.

    PS New coop is almost finished so within a month there will be more upheaval in the flock.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Just kept out of the coop/run without close interaction is sufficient.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I think the cage in the coop will be fine. Might even take her down more, as she won't be able to enforce her place in the pecking order. I'd do something like put her near the feeder, so the other birds see she can't dominate their movements anymore.
     
  4. KellyLyn

    KellyLyn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Maleficent is certainly not liking her chicken jail, but I hope she can become a reformed and better leader. I don't have many good options that I know of after this... rehome or stew... just a shame as she is a good layer and a gorgeous bird.​

    [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Can't wait to hear how this works out.

    @donrae & @ChickenCanoe How long do y'all think she needs to stay in 'witchy jail'?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I'd try about 4 days to begin with. A bully will usually rise to the top eventually but the temporary knock down can give the others enough self confidence to hold their own.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've had birds gone for 2 nights have to re-establish their place, but I'd give it longer than that. I'd go for a week, as long as keeping her in a second area isn't too much of a pita for you.
     
  8. KellyLyn

    KellyLyn Out Of The Brooder

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    What is interesting is that I was checking on her this morning before work and found her out of the cage? Prison Break! Was it chicken magic? Lol.
    Didn't have time to investigate ... DH was the one that chased her down and put her in... somehow I don't think he'll do that again for me.. darn it.
    What are the chances an overnight made all the difference? Yep, me neither! [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    The prison break probably happened right away.
     

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