What to do with a bully?

AnnaLK

In the Brooder
Mar 4, 2017
18
16
49
Texas, USA
For the past few week, one of my Buff Orpingtons has become quite the bully..
She plucked my Easter Egger’s butt bare, and has moved onto my other BO (though, she hasn’t pecked her as badly.)
We’ve given them toys, scratch, a flock block, expanded the coop, and let them free range supervised.
We’ve also separated her a few times for a few days and no luck. Should we seperate her for longer, now? If so, how long is recommended?

If seperating her doesn’t work, should we cull her or is there something else we can do? Removing her is really the last thing we want to do, but if we have to, we will.

And for the bullied one, is there something we can do to help her? The others haven’t been pecking at her, she isn’t bleeding, and she lays normally. Just has a bare little bottom... thank you!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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How old is she? What does your set up look like, size? How many? What are you feeding?

This time of year hormones are surging in poultry. It can cause more aggressive behaviors. Buff Orpingtons are generally more even tempered.

Chickens need lots of room and range to burn off excess energy, so keeping them busy will help.
 

AnnaLK

In the Brooder
Mar 4, 2017
18
16
49
Texas, USA
Our run is about 44 square feet, with two different houses on either side. It’s two store bought coops that we connected together, and, like
I said, we free range them when we can supervise them. There are only four birds in there.
Right now we’re only feeding a layer feed, and, on occasion, healthy treats. Should we mix some chick crumbles in? Would that give them more protein?
They are all almost a year old, hatched last July, but the EE is about two weeks older than the BOs.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,193
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Wisconsin
When's the feather picking happening? I would suspect the coops are cramped and the roost space is small. Birds can't get away from each other a proper distance in those small coop. Lower ranking members need to stay a minimum of 5 feet away, with 10 feet or more being better to avoid being corrected by dominant members.
 

FeatheredFanatic

Chirping
Mar 21, 2018
29
52
60
Red Level, AL
If it really gets bad, ( like if blood gets drawn ), you can get pine tar at TSC and put it on the bleeding areas. What this will do it protect the open wounds from infection and if that hens pecks her there again it will "glue" her mouth shut temporarily and she'll quit.
 

AnnaLK

In the Brooder
Mar 4, 2017
18
16
49
Texas, USA
When's the feather picking happening? I would suspect the coops are cramped and the roost space is small. Birds can't get away from each other a proper distance in those small coop. Lower ranking members need to stay a minimum of 5 feet away, with 10 feet or more being better to avoid being corrected by dominant members.

It’s happening in the run, during the day. We’ve seen it happen a few times.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Right now we’re only feeding a layer feed, and, on occasion, healthy treats. Should we mix some chick crumbles in? Would that give them more protein?
Chick crumbles would give more protein.....unless it's old and left over from when they were chicks, then I wouldn't feed it.

44sqft of run is bare minimum for 4 birds.....it can work, until it doesn't.
Is the run bare or is there some 'stuff' in there to act as hiding places and diversions?
Like 2x2's and branches for roosts in run. Logs, stumps, pallets leaned against wall or up on concrete blocks, grazing frames, old table/chairs/benches.

Do they split up to sleep, or try to all fit in one coop?
 

AnnaLK

In the Brooder
Mar 4, 2017
18
16
49
Texas, USA
The crumbles are new. Won them at a contest at our feed store.
We some stuff in there, like leaves, but I’ll try putting a few logs in there. I also have some alfalfa they might like.
I’ll try to free range them more as well since they do really like it.

It depends on the night. Sometimes they split up, other times they decide to sleep together.
 

MilesFluffybutt

Songster
Nov 16, 2016
560
954
221
Vermont
So long as your hen doesn't have any open wounds, you could try some No Pick Lotion. I used it on one of my roosters and the pulling stopped immediately. It's pretty foul smelling and tastes just as bad.
 

MANNA-PRO

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