Welsummer - bad behaviour - pls help

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Anniebee, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Anniebee

    Anniebee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I purchased 3 birds in October 2011 when they were about 8 weeks old. A Barnevelder, RIR and Welsummer. The Welsummer has grown up to be the largest chicken, but her comb barely grows at all. She has a very large crop and although she doesn't like much being picked up, once she is 'cuddled' she remains quiet. I also have a Silkie and an Araucana - 4 weeks younger than the first 3 - both white / lightish in colour. The Barnevelder has a really good comb now, and the RIR is also showing a good comb growth. I have had 1 egg today from one of the first 3 birds (probably the Barnevelder but cannot be sure) ... they have been molting heavily, in our summer months ( Victoria, Australia ).

    The first 3 including the Welsummer are in one area of the coop, and the other two in another area. They are kept separated, as the Welsummer seems to hate the Araucana and goes after her or the Silkie. Mostly the Araucana - mounts her, pecks savagely at her etc. has raised blood on a wing. The Silkie is cunning enough and quick enough to get out of the welsummers' way. I have tried bringing them together on 3 occasions - and it is always the same. Next I tried locking the welsummer up and allowing the other 4 together. There was a little bit of a peck here and there - dominance etc., but nothing like the savagery the welsummer shows. Yet I have read on another welsummer thread, how lovable and easy going they are ?????? Not mine. She is a very big bird, and throws her weight around with her 2 companions every morning they are let out - she runs at her companions with neck feathers raised and hackled, but they know her and stand up to her, so she doesn't get far with them. I honestly think she would kill the Araucana if she had half a chance. On one of those 3 occasions I tried, I put her in with the two smaller whites, thinking that 2 would tend to dominate the 1 - NOT SO. That was probably the worst of the attacks on the Araucana.

    The first 3 and the second 2, are of course, in separate free range runs most every day.

    I have now decided - when I get a separate coop altogether, to keep the welsummer as a caged bird, allowing her out to free range once or twice a week, while the others stay in-doors for half a day. However I am not at all sure if this is the right thing to do. I can give her away to someone with many chickens ( where she will NOT be queen bee and therefore be put in her place ! ), or I can try the caged bit, hoping she will settle down and perhaps lay a few eggs ? - well, I can hope !!

    Would appreciate some thoughts on this please - and any info. if anyone else has had such an aggressive welsummer. From what I gather, they are usually placid, easy going birds.

    Thanks in anticipation

    Anniebee. [​IMG]
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    7,615
    1,660
    421
    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    eat the welsummer. She is raising cain and disrupting the peace. spoiling the fun of having chickens for you. Give her away or eat her.
    Karen in USA
     
  3. Anniebee

    Anniebee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know whether to say thanks or not. I certainly do not want to eat her .... she along with the others are pets more than anything, as I am a true 'backyard chicken' owner. I love them, faults and all. But the welsummer is a bit much ( Mandy is her name ).

    I think I will try the caged bird scene, with a couple of free range half days for her, and if she complains too much, or her two companions get too upset, I can send her to a farm that has loads of chickens, where she will be hopefully happy - and not the 'queen of the flock'. They forget quickly I believe.

    I certainly would NOT eat her. Was a bit put out by that advice. I gather you raise chickens to sell ? You are a serious chicken breeder for profit ? I don't know - just asking.

    Anniebee.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    8,591
    960
    361
    Jul 28, 2008
    MA
    Why? Many "true backyard" chicken owners on this site eat their birds. There is nothing wrong with that. Many are not doing it for profit either, they are doing it for their families. Homegrown chicken is far better than what is raised commercially for meat in this country.

    Other people here are like you, and consider their chickens as pets. Nothing wrong with that either. Just a differing view. I think one thing that all can agree on is that all poultry should have a clean, happy life no matter what the bird's purpose is.

    Anyway, to your question. If it were me I would rehome her. I don't like mean hens.
     
  5. Anniebee

    Anniebee Chillin' With My Peeps

    To Keesmom ... thank you for your reply.

    I take your point ... and considering the somewhat ' iffy ' reputation that commercially grown meat and poultry have in your country ( which I have heard about many times and am astonished that that is the case ) ... I don't blame you for raising chickens for the table. My own grandparents did that all the time ... and I never turned a hair - it was perfectly normal when I was a kid. At an older age ( in my early 70's ) ... I am quite the softie now. !! [​IMG]

    I couldn't agree more with you - the chickens deserve a clean and happy life, no matter what their purpose. Had the first egg today and was delighted. Think it was the Barnevelder who laid it. And my chickens at this point in time do lead a clean and happy life - as long as I keep the two groups separated. As mentioned before, the welsummers' companions know her well, they stand up to her, and she actually does back off.

    I will certainly consider re-homing her, as I fortunately have somewhere she can go to be with a heap of other chickens ... but will be reluctant to do so, if that's what I decide. I too, don't like 'mean' anything, chickens, dogs, cats or any other pet. But we can't expect perfection in everything eh ?

    Again - thank you.

    AB.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by