What to do with mean hens????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by The Sheriff, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

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    Northern CA
    I have a Delaware cross, Lucy, who was blinded in one eye by a mean hen. The two mean girls (at that time) were taken to a local poultry exchange where they were sold. I disclosed the fact that they had been aggressive with other hens but not each other.

    In the meantime, Lucy's eye has healed but she is still blind on that side. She manages pretty well but has limitations. She can't get up on the top roost for example and likes to be closer to the ground. Last night she did manage to get up on the top roost and immediately got beat down by two more mean hens. She fell hard, hitting two steps on the way down. I picked her up and put her in some shavings on top of the nesting boxes for the night. This morning I noticed that everywhere she goes, Ethel and Louise follow her and peck at her. She ran into the gate trying to escape. She is hiding behind the coop at this time. We are so in love with Lucy and can't stand seeing her get hurt.

    What does everyone do with their mean hens? I want to raise only one breed in the near future so I am considering putting the mean girls on Craigslist and only keeping hens that do no harm. I don't want my new breeding stock to be hurt and I only have one coop (big) and that is all I want. I have three mean hens right now (2 EE's and an ISA Brown) that bully, peck, and knock the other hens off the roosts. It gets downright brutal. Is this just normal?

    Any ideas? Please don't suggest freezer camp. While I have no ill feelings for people who eat their birds I cannot do that. Any help appreciated.

    Gotta go check on Lucy.

    Mary
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2009
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Separate the bullies for a few days to a dog crate. It will take them down a peg or two in the pecking order. I have a small flock and only one brute. When she gets too uppity I segregate her and lock her in the garage for a few days. She always goes back to her flock very contrite and gets picked on for a few days by the formerly bullied hens. It keeps her humble most of the time.
     

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