Sweet Buff Orp Being Picked on and bullied

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mom23chicklets, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. mom23chicklets

    mom23chicklets In the Brooder

    May 31, 2007
    I'm so upset. I have 3 four month old roosters who in general are quite nice to the other 23 two month old chicks. But not to one of my buff orpingtons. They gang up on her and peck at her. I've found her in the coop by herself, wedged in somewhere usually with her head behind something. It's like she's trying to hide from them.

    She is the sweetest thing. When I go and hold her, she doesn't want to leave me. What can I do? If I see the roosters picking on her, I run and scream and chase the roosters away. Then I hold her for a while and try to give her treats. I noticed that she generally doesn't eat when the others eat. She is not sickly and is growing normally so she must be eating after everyone.

    Is there anything I can do other than keep her away from the roosters as much as possible? Do you think something is wrong with her? I don't see any other chickens bullying her. Thank you so much for all the wonderful advise I've read on this website!
  2. ella

    ella Songster

    Chickens do pick on the nice ones so she may be healthy, just not aggressive enough to defend herself.

    Picking her up in front of the others might be adding to the problem. The other's likely see it as you dominating over her and they'll be more likely to join in by pecking at her.

    To help her out you can add some areas where she can hide and stay out of the way, like a platform type roost. Or add another feeder in another location to lessen the competion for food.

    Once they all grow up they'll settle down and the fighting should quit, so don't give up. [​IMG]
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, they have identified her as the bottom of the pecking order. Hopefully things will work out between them and she will be accepted, but it just takes time.
  4. mom23chicklets

    mom23chicklets In the Brooder

    May 31, 2007
    Ella and Silkiechicken,

    Thank you very much for your help. I think I will have to find homes for my 3 ameraucana roosters soon if they don't stop picking on her. I find her trying to hide herself in the corner of the shed just hoping the roosters don't see her. So sad . . .

    I'm also contemplating making her my house chicken!! The husband and daughter are not too keen on it. My boys love the idea!

    Thanks again!

  5. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I would get rid of some of the roosters first. I have found buff orpingtons to be rather gentle when young, but able to be quite bossy once they get older. They do seem to like being handled more than other breeds.
    They all need to find their pecking order and it changes all the time. Unless someone gets semi-seriously injured or something like that, (not getting enought to eat, so you can tell because one is way smaller) there is really not much to do.
    I do spend time in the chicken yard monitoring the action. And I often regret, that I didn't bring the camera!!!
    I also do have a house chicken. Other people have parrots, so what is wrong with me having an indoor bird? Just 'coz I bought it for only $2.99?
  6. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    I was in your same situation with my dear Chicken Hawk. She was a runt and would not defend herself. She would do the head in the corner thing, too. In fact, one of the hens pulled out her feathers and damaged her vent. She had no self esteem, the poor girl. So, DH and I brought her in the house for about a month. She went on weekend trips with us and everything. In that month, she grew up, grew out, matured and was able to defend herself better.
    She was never at the top of the pecking order, but she was never at the bottom after we put her back outside.
    She KNEW she was the favorite, too! She would sit at the back door and wait for DH or I to fling out her favorite treat. [​IMG]
    Don't give up on your girl!
  7. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    I think you should send her home with me, and I will bring you a couple more roos I have a couple of big ones that will show those bullies who the new boss is.
  8. mom23chicklets

    mom23chicklets In the Brooder

    May 31, 2007
    Did you do the chicken diaper thing? What do I need to be aware of or plan for if I want to make her THE house chicken? If I'm on top of changing the chicken diaper often, will there still be odors or messes to deal with?

    It's funny, I started telling hubby how sweet the BO is and how she was being bullied, and how I might have to make her a house chicken. Well, he said under no uncertain terms, NO WAY, I'LL MOVE OUT BEFORE A CHICKEN COMES IN THE HOUSE!!!!! To which I said,"Be careful what you say!" Well, he went out to the shed/coop a day later and witnessed the BO getting bullied. She cozied right up to him and wouldn't leave his side.

    He came back in the house with a different attitude, and admitting how sweet she is!!! He's still not keen on the house chicken thing but he actually said he'd be open to learning more about it! Give me ammunition!

  9. soccerguy17

    soccerguy17 In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2007
    i say go for it she sounds like a willing house chickens companion.my buff orpington is not the brightest thing and she is seen by the other chickens to not even be in the pecking order! they dont bother her at all for some reason even though she never asserts herself as the dominent one she constantly begging for attetion ignoring the other chickens and they ignore her. is it just my wimpy buff orps or are most buff orps close to the bottom of the pecking order?
  10. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I had read that very thing on this forum, so I decided that since I liked BO's looks the best, I would just get all BO's. I was afraid that if I had a mixed flock, the BO's would always be picked on. So now I have five BO's, and they all get along just fine. Except I can't tell them apart. Maybe they can't either.

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