What to do? What happened?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickNanny13, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

    2,715
    1,228
    296
    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    I've got 3 BLR Wyandottes & 1 EE (22wks Sunday), they got along all this time although the EE I thought the dominate pullet. She's the one that "challenges" the BLR but nothing major, just chest bumping. Yesterday they got their weekly dusting with DE, after that one of the BLR attacked the EE, then another went after her. She ran off, isolating herself from the rest; moving off whenever they came around. Fortunately, they all went into their night house and found them perched all together so I figured all's well and they "pecked and made up".

    This morning I let them out, 2 of the BLR made so much noise, the sort of complaining/growling noise. Now we're back to the EE being a loner, very nervous. Are they redoing their pecking order? What set them off?

    The only difference at dusting time, I usually do so when they're all in their house but yesterday they had to be shooed into the house. I got the Wyandottes in but the EE evaded me, so I dusted the BLR then went and chased down the EE, got her dusted and released her with the rest. That's when the one BLR attacked her, never before had they ever gotten into this battle. I had to monitor them for at least half hour (squirt bottle in hand) before it settled down enough....EE off and avoiding the rest.

    So what happened? Are they MAD at her for not going into the house, thinking she didn't get dusted? Is this just a redoing of the pecking order? Will I need to rehome the EE or will it be ok? It's sad to see her off alone, is this the way it's going to be? Any feed back is helpful....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,763
    5,147
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I'm not an authority on chicken behavior, but it could be one of two things. First with 60-70 chickens of different breeds most of the time I notice that certain breeds like to stick together. My heritage RIR were hatched and raised with German New Hampshires, and black copper marans, but the 8 RIR always hang out together and sleep together in a row on the roost. The other possibility is your EE may have something wrong with her, and they are trying to cull her or get rid of her. My amateur chicken psychiatry is probably off, but they could be rearranging the pecking order like you said.
     
  3. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,290
    286
    208
    May 9, 2013
    MB,Canada
    There probably isn't any reason that would make sense to us,but to the hens there is(think mean girls)does the female of any species need a reason to kick someone out of the clique,no. If the bullying is intense and results in injury,remove the aggressor for a couple of days,this should change the dynamics of the pecking order. Or remove the girl being attacked,but also remove one of the other docile hens,pair the two together,see if they get along.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

    2,715
    1,228
    296
    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    Thanks guys, thought I'd let you all know that they've settled down after a morning of noise and a few tense moments.

    When I let them out of their house this morning, Crystal (last pic) was very noisy, more than I've ever heard any of them. They all ran off to the yard, Topaz (EE) went after her but she stood her ground and Topaz backed off. Ruby (first BLR pic, the one that attacked the EE yesterday) and Greyling (BLR) ran up to her and they walked into the patio together. Topaz kept her distance from them, if they approached her, she ran the other way. I had to leave told Hubby to keep an eye on them, use the squirt bottle if need.

    He said they kept their distance from each other for most of the morning, occasionally they'd be grubbing together. When I got home, they were together resting in the patio. Things seemed to have settled down, it seemed Ruby was in charge and Topaz didn't seem edgy around the BLRs. Through the afternoon, the BLRs were together while Topaz would be off but they'd end up together at some point. In the evening they all went into their house, no issues, hopefully it was just a pecking order reshuffle which I never want to see again. I'm beginning to agree with Eggcessive that it seems the "breeds" stick together, the BLRs have always kind of stuck together, the EE hung out with the Orpingtons (rehomed) sometimes but perhaps I should have let her go with them, or kept another EE instead of 3 BLRs...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by