1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Which one stays, the bullies or the bullied?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hippichic, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. Hippichic

    Hippichic New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Jul 10, 2015
    For almost a year we've been working on a bully situation. We live in the city and have 5 hens -- 2 EE, 2 Buff Orpingtons, & 1 Bared Rock who all grew up together. We have 20sq ft of coop space and 100 sq ft of run. One day we came home to find one of our Buffs very bloody...they had pecked her comb and she had shaken it everywhere! It has never been the same since. We separated her to heal, which meant she had the run of the backyard. Often she'd sit by the fence next to the other hens, but they couldn't attack her. When we put her back in, the attacking started again. Since then we've tried...keeping our Buff separate (run of the backyard), letting all of them free range in the backyard, lots of greens and toys in the run to play with, Vicks on the back of her neck, pulling the instigator (the Bared Rock) out, and now pin less peepers on 2 hens who do the most pecking. The only thing that really has worked is giving all the hens free range of the yard. That, however, doesn't work for us. They completely tore up our average sized yard, not to mention the poop everywhere. We have a pool and there's nothing like the kids running barefoot through chicken poop!

    Our Buff is acting like she's now going broody...but who could blame her for wanting to hide in a nesting box all day! We've decided to sell one of our hens. The question now is which one.

    Most posts I've read suggest getting rid of the bully. We've also become very attached to our Buff from all the care giving. She is like a teddy bear who loves to snuggle. The other 4, though, get along fine when she's not with them. What to do???

    Also, any advice on selling a 2.5 yr old hen? Where to post? How to ensure they're going to a good home. All of them are truly our pets and we're very sad it is coming to this.

    Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts and advice!
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    720
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    I would get rid of the bully. And my thinking here is, what if you keep her, bring in a new bird at some point and then she decides she doesn't like that one either? You'll be right back where you started.

    As far as advertising and selling, list her for whatever you think shes worth. If people don't want to pay that, they'll haggle with you on price (that's never a worry, in my experience). As for ensuring she goes to a good home? About all you can do is screen sellers and pick the best candidate. Unfortunately, once she's gone, you no longer have any say as to how shes housed and treated. Best not to think about what might be going on with them after you sell them. Typically, if you can let her go at a higher price, people wont eat them (it hurts ones pocket to eat a bird they just spent $10 or $15 on, they can be acquired much cheaper at the grocery store).

    Good luck, this is never a pleasant situation to have to deal with...
     
  3. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am new to chickens... but I have to agree. I'd get rid of the bully. But is it just the one? If you separate the bully and put your Buff back in with the other 3, how are things? I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide. :)
     
  4. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal Premium Member

    I would get rid of the bully. Do you know which chicken does the most bullying? I was just wondering because we have a EE hen and she is very "selective" about who sleeps on the roosting pole next to her. I was curious if it was an EE for this reason.

    I also think if you got rid of the Buff that is being bullied, then the bully would think it is acceptable to bully other chickens. I also agree with howfunkyisurchicken on getting a new chicken (possibly younger) once the bully is gone. This way the Buff can have a friend and it is not all alone. Plus, it isn't worth going through the pain of getting rid of a chicken you really like because of another chicken.

    I agree with everyone on selling the chicken for what you think it is worth. Most likely if they are willing to pay the price you would pay for it, they will give it a home similar to yours. I suggest posting it for sale here in the "for sale" section (Not exactly sure what it's called, but it's pretty easy to find under forums. Then it has different descriptions to classify you bird under, like "chicks 5 weeks and younger".), there are a LOT of people on here that love chickens and will be willing to take good care of it and pay for it.
    Good luck :),
    henny1129
     
  5. Hippichic

    Hippichic New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Jul 10, 2015
    Thanks for the advice! The BR is the instigator, but one of my EE joins in. Believe it or not, my Buff will stand up to the other EE. I'll post some ads today...I keep putting it off. I have to admit, I'm so afraid of getting rid of the bully, also a beloved pet, and have our Buff still on the outs. As I mentioned, the other 4 all get along fine without the Buff. :(
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,454
    3,337
    513
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Try caging the bully away(out of sight) from the other birds....see what happens with the rest and the victim.

    Part of the problem you are having is not enough space for 5 birds.....it's why they get along better when free ranging.

    Romance meeting Reality is never much fun.

    Best of cLuck to yas!
     
  7. Hippichic

    Hippichic New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Jul 10, 2015
    Yep, that's where we landed as well which is why we made the decision to Find a new home for one. Thank you for the suggestion of putting the bully in a separate cage. We're going to try that. I'd soooooo hate to go through all of this and still have to get rid of our Buff in the end.

    Btw, I looked into posting on BYC for a new home, but they require you have at least 20 posts. I'm a loyal reader and follower, but haven't posted enough to qualify. I will add here that we live in San Jose, CA if anyone reading this lives locally and is interested in helping adopt a hen. The question still remains, which one. Again, thanks for the continued advice...and support.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,454
    3,337
    513
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Search for a BYC state chat thread near you....I think there are a few CA ones....but even that can be a long shot.
    Contacting a local poultry club or 4H group is another option...do some googling for those.
     
  9. Hippichic

    Hippichic New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Jul 10, 2015
    I wanted to share an update. I separated the instigator from the flock. Sadly our buff didn't get along with any of them. I think she's been on the outside for too long. We ended up finding a fabulous family with a tree farm and a lot more space. They are taking great care of our buff and love her to pieces. They send pictures and updates of how she's doing. Back home, we now have a peaceful flock of four and they are thrilled to get more lap time now that they aren't competing for attention.

    I wanted to add a note for those thinking of getting chicks. We honestly knew our setup was best for four hens, but I had read so much about chick mortality that we brought home 5...just in case. The good news, they all grew to healthy hens. The bad news...well we found ourselves in this situation of having to get rid of one of our pets. I would definitely recommend sticking to a number that can comfortably live in your space or one bird less, especially for those in cities with limited space. An over crowded flock is not a fun situation to be in.

    Thanks to everyone here for their advice and suggestions. Ver much appreciated!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by