We have some bullies!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by freerangeme, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. freerangeme

    freerangeme New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2013
    In May we got three chicks: a White Jersey Giant, a Dominique, and a Buckeye. In June we got nine more: two Black Sex Links, and seven Red Sex Links. The three original ones were a pretty good size when we got the other nine. Well, the Jersey turned out to be a rooster, but that's okay. I adore our original three, Matthew, Esther, and Ruth. The other day I went out to check on them (usually the kids tend to them) and I noticed Ruth, the Buckeye, hiding her head in the corner. I tried scaring her out of there, but she went straight for another corner. After I got in there I realized she had been pecked, to where there was some blood on her face. It looks like the others went after her comb. As I was holding her, a couple of the Red Sex Links came at her, and Ruth started freaking out. I immediately brought her inside and she had stayed here until today when I read that I should remove the bully and not the one being bullied. So, I take Ruth back out and almost immediately one of the Red Sex Links came after her. I grabbed that one and brought it in. When I went back out, I realized that the one I had brought in wasn't the only one picking on Ruth. I put Ruth up in the nesting boxes, where she is still in hiding. I don't understand since Ruth is older than the Reds, and she isn't smaller than them, either.
    We're planning on adding more room to the run as soon as we get the materials, but there's still a good amount of room in the one they're in. They have food they can scratch for to occupy them, as well as whatever bugs run through there. Obviously we can't separate half of our flock from each other to stop the bullying. Oh, since we have pulled the one out, though, she has been throwing a fit. She does not like being away from the others.
    Ruth is really scared, and has stayed in the same place since I put her back in the run. I've read other posts where there's just one hen picking on a smaller or younger one. But what about when one of the original three is being picked on by three or four of the younger ones?
     
  2. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    When I separated my bullies, the fighting had stopped after returning them to the flock after 2 days, although the bullies were the originals... This has worked so far... I locked up the injured the first time and when I let her out the fighting started again, so I locked up the bully next, so far so good...
     
  3. freerangeme

    freerangeme New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2013
    Did you separate your bullies from each other as well, or did you put your bullies in one pen and then slowly introduced them back to the others after the couple of days?
    It's obvious we have three or four pecking on Ruth, but we don't have four additional areas to lock them up in alone. My son just brought a second one in to join the first bully because when he went out there the second one had Ruth in a corner. He stuck that one in the pen, and the first pecked it!
    So, if I divide up the area that the bullies are in, how much room would each need?
    Oh, it's so stressful! I think I might start molting!
     
  4. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2013
    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    I put the bullies together, let them share the punishment together. It's only for a couple of days, let them suffer a little unless they are beating each other up. I think it makes them respect their freedom more. They seem to learn fast...

    Please post pics if and when you start to moult......[​IMG]
     
  5. freerangeme

    freerangeme New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2013
    So, we have at this time four chickens that we have brought in to separate from the rest as we caught them pecking on Ruth. Today, though, my son went out and the rest of the hens were attacking Ruth! He get her out and realized they had pecked a hole in her back!!!! I am so very sad about her. I'm thinking the others should go back out and we should just baby Ruth, especially until she's healed up.
    Thoughts?
     
  6. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    Neosporin on the wound and lock up the bullies. I just freed the two bullies from their timeout and the bullying has diminished greatly...
     
  7. freerangeme

    freerangeme New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2013
    After we took away the four that we caught bullying her originally, the rest ganged up on her. The entire flock, minus our rooster, was attacking her. Matthew was just standing by doing nothing. Unless we separate each of the hens into their own little areas, there is no way to separate the bully if they all were bullies, right? Even our Dominique, Esther, started pecking on Ruth today. All ten others have now attacked Ruth.
    It was suggested that maybe she is sick and that's why the others are attacking, but she has no signs of being sick. She actually acts fine and looks fine when we get her out from the rest of the flock. I'll try to get a picture of her wounds up later.....
     
  8. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    It could be that they are now only attacking the wound, because of the blood. If she is better when on her own then separate her so she can heal...
     
  9. freerangeme

    freerangeme New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2013
    So, an update:
    We brought Ruth inside the other night and stuck the bullies back out with the flock. This morning our son checked on Ruth before we left for church, and there was an egg in her pen! It's our first egg!
    After coming back from church our son went to check on the chickens outside, and there was an egg in their nest! We're presuming it's from Esther, our Dominique, since she and Ruth are the same age.
    We're still going to be keeping Ruth separate for a while to let her fully heal before introducing her back to the rest. I'm wondering of Matthew, our rooster, caused the large wound on Ruth's back and that caused some of the others to react. Still going to be keeping an eye, but now with fresh eggs.
     
  10. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    Woo hoo, first eggs are always a nice surprise. Glad to see the bullying didn't cause a stress delay....
     
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