BigBlueHen53

Fragile, Beautiful, Strong
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Mar 5, 2019
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Three nights for a bully hen, right? Our older flock consists of eight hens and a year-old rooster who has just earned his spurs, so to speak. The younger flock is 14 weeks old and yes, we did integrate them a little early by a couple of weeks but for the most part it's going well. The chicklets are pretty much a flock unto themselves and Silverwings, the roo, is too busy establishing himself with the older hens to bother the chicklets.

The problem is at night. There is plenty of room for everybody to roost with room to spare. But one of the older hens parks herself at the end of the row of the older hens and pecks at any of the chicklets that tries to roost anywhere on that roost. There may be three or four feet of empty space there, but she won't share it. So all 13 of the chicklets are huddled on top of each other in one square foot at the far end of that roost.

I don't know what's so special about that roost, there are two others free for the taking!

Anyway, pursuant to suggestions posted here on BYC, I put her in a wire dog crate tonight on the floor, and suddenly, BAM, there's plenty of room for everyone. I should do this for three nights, right, then see if she behaves herself?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I wouldn't think it will work separating her. She's still gonna be dominant over the chicks and will peck them. What's different between the current roost and the empty one? Different height?

Most chickens bicker on the roosts at dusk. It's a life or death situation for a bird. Those lower or closer to the door are more vulnerable to predation. Birds will also bicker about who gets to sit next to the rooster. It's all survival instincts, it isn't bullying, it's survival of the fittest.
 

BigBlueHen53

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Why don't you put a divider on your roost?
Nothing fancy, just a piece of cardboard or something to block her view of who else is on the roost.
It works lol. :D
Didn't think of it. :confused:
Edit: not sure our setup will allow. This roost sits right on top of the nests. Hmmmm.....
 

HenOnAJuneBug

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I just had a bully rooster not let the other rooster into the coop at night. So I threw him out so the other rooster could come in, and made him sleep in the run so he couldn't attack the other rooster. I did that for 2 nights, and on the 3rd night things settled down and I didn't have to do that. So far so good. Might work for you.
 

BigBlueHen53

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I just had a bully rooster not let the other rooster into the coop at night. So I threw him out so the other rooster could come in, and made him sleep in the run so he couldn't attack the other rooster. I did that for 2 nights, and on the 3rd night things settled down and I didn't have to do that. So far so good. Might work for you.
Could not do that, we are dealing with a predator at the same time, but thanks.
 

anderstr196

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Nov 12, 2018
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I wouldn't think it will work separating her. She's still gonna be dominant over the chicks and will peck them. What's different between the current roost and the empty one? Different height?

Most chickens bicker on the roosts at dusk. It's a life or death situation for a bird. Those lower or closer to the door are more vulnerable to predation. Birds will also bicker about who gets to sit next to the rooster. It's all survival instincts, it isn't bullying, it's survival of the fittest.
I’ve struggled with this and it’s a hard hurdle to get over. I’m guilty of always following my maternal instincts but that was my problem, they were HUMAN maternal instincts. I think many of us do the same and forget that we can’t always solve, or fix, what we think is wrong with the flocks instincts.
I do it with all my animals but it was the chickens who are helping me get over it lol..
Back to the subject hehe... I used to stand at the coop while they made their way in and try to calm my dominant hen, Bob, but it only frustrated me and her. I had to just let them work it out, no one was hurt, now it is much calmer at bedtime.
 

BigBlueHen53

Fragile, Beautiful, Strong
Premium member
Mar 5, 2019
3,534
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SE Missouri, USA
I wouldn't think it will work separating her. She's still gonna be dominant over the chicks and will peck them. What's different between the current roost and the empty one? Different height?

Most chickens bicker on the roosts at dusk. It's a life or death situation for a bird. Those lower or closer to the door are more vulnerable to predation. Birds will also bicker about who gets to sit next to the rooster. It's all survival instincts, it isn't bullying, it's survival of the fittest.
Thanks, OldHen... you're right, the favored roost is a little higher than the empty one. I'll see if I can fix that. Thanks for the insight!
 
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