Top hen picking on new chicks, should I get rid of her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AshleyBickle, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. AshleyBickle

    AshleyBickle Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    I have three hens. All about 6 months old, the largest Isa Brown is at the top of the pecking order. I got two silkie chicks a few weeks ago. They are almost 10 weeks old so I thought now was a good time to add them to my flock. I added them yesterday and it seemed all heck broke lose. The top Isa, started fights with everyone. She fought with the barred rock I have who's the most gentlest and kindest of the three grown chickens. And now today she won't let the new chicks come out of the nesting box area. I went to check on them this morning and they were huddled in a back corner of a nesting box. If they even tried to come out to eat or drink the Ida would run over and start pecking them. I couldn't bare to watch, all I could here was little screams coming from the chicks. This happened 3 times while I was outside. I'm not sure what to do or if it will just handle itself. I don't want her to kill the chicks but wasn't sure if this was normal behavior. Is it time for her to go?
     
  2. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    Knee Deep
    no its normal, you messed up the pecking order. Fence off a little section of the pen for your new chicks. This way they can see each other but not hurt the new ones. After a few weeks you should be able to just open the door between the two sides, once the silkies are bigger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  3. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2012
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    I would create a little silkie safety pen in the middle of the coop out of chicken wire with little doors all the way around so the silkies can come and go but the big girls can't get in. I'd put a little watering station and feeders plus a little basket for them to sleep in.
     
  4. AshleyBickle

    AshleyBickle Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Thanks so much for the great advise. It was just breaking my heart to see those poor chicks get attacked like that. I got creative though and seperated them into their own little area of the coop. Everyone can still see each other but no more bullying. The adult chickens sure did try for a while afterwards though to get into the new enclosed are. Hope it works at they all get along in a few weeks. Thanks so much again, I was panicking and almost in tears.. I know, their only chickens but it was bad.
     

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