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Chicken Bully

Posted: 16 May 2015, 22:47
by malkered
I recently rescued a mistreated red hen who I believe is around 6-8 months old.

I bought a 17 week old Amber hybrid as company for her and the two of them very quickly got on well.

I then heard about a 14000 strong flock from a free range egg farm which, at 18 months old were due to go for slaughter.

I rescued two of these birds (I'm not sure what breed they are) and put them in with the original two hens.

They live in an 8 foot by 4 foot coop with a 6 foot x 6 foot outside enclosure.

The new birds have settled in and have continued to lay.

One of the new birds seems to have fitted in with the others but the other one pecks at the other three but totally bullies the red hen who is the biggest bird but the most placid. When she is sat on her perch the bully sits right next to her and pecks at her.



I rescued these birds as I couldn't bear to let them be slaughtered but I'm not happy that our lovely red hen is being attacked in her own home.



Any ideas?

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 16 May 2015, 23:12
by Hen-Gen
Sorry to hear that you are having this experience. It is, unfortunately, a common event. The underlying cause is that chickens have quite well developed flock hierarchies and newcomers do represent a threat. In the late Autumn and Winter hens can be mixed and matched with few problems. However in the breeding season, which we are now in, they an be very aggressive to strangers.
Various strategies have been suggested over the years like housing the birds separately but within sight to allow familiarisation or introducing incomers at night but the truth is, unpalatable as it may seem, is that introductions at this time of year are doomed to failure. Quite frankly I would kill the offending hen and learn from the experience. If you need new hens in future then get them during the Oct-Jan period.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 17 May 2015, 01:18
by Fast Farmer
Depends what you class as bullying, the odd peck or full blown victimisation and beating up. If the latter, you could try removing the bully to another coop, dog cage etc on her own. Then re-introduce her 3 or 4 days later (at night), when SHE may inherit the position of "bottom of the pecking order" from the now established hens. The outcome could go 3 ways, peace and harmony, she could go back to her old ways.........or she could become the victim of bullying !!!!! As HG said, culling might be the only way forward if all attempts fail.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 24 May 2015, 02:12
by Fast Farmer
Why oh why do we bother to answer novice chickeneers problems when there is not the slightest bit of thanks or feedback ?

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 24 May 2015, 14:00
by ladyplumber
Errrm ...... personally, I don't answer or attempt to help novice "chickeneers" with the expectation of thanks or even feedback - I help where I can on the offchance that some of my advice is used, and problems either for the poultry keeper or the poultry flock then have a chance of being avoided.

Also we all have a life off of the computer, and can't always return here promptly enough to give thanks etc to whosoever is able to give it.

I just feel that last comment was rather harsh Fast Farmer, and could easily put a new member off from using this forum in the future.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 25 May 2015, 00:56
by Fast Farmer
Harsh though it may seem, a little thanks and recognition goes a long way in trying to preserve what is left of the once vibrant world of poultry forums. Given the urgency of the originators post I doubt very much if he/she had waited 8 days to pop in for a peep at replies. Personally, I thank anyone who answers a question I have.....check out my posts !!! Sadly Facebook is now dominating the once lively banter of the online forums, you only have to look how many posts there have been in the past week here. A little common courtesy would slow down the demise of forums and go a long way to ensuring replies come from far and wide beyond moderators alone.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 25 May 2015, 07:04
by Henwife
So that's what's happened to Forums. I had wondered.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 25 May 2015, 10:34
by Hen-Gen
I've come to the conclusion that human etiquette has evolved and left me behind in my own private ecosystem. How many times have I had the following conversation in my house:-
Guests mobile rings - 'Do you mind if I get this?
Me - 'Yes, I do actually'

Sent my 13 yo god-daughter £50 for her birthday in January. A thank you would have been nice. Eventually had to check with her father that she'd received it.

Now I do not pretend to have been schooled by Hyacinth Bouquet. But some basic courtesy would be nice. In my mind courtesy flows from respect for the individual,ergo no courtesy means no respect. And if you don't respect me then I feel under no obligation to respect you (though I generally do because I was brought up that way and I'm a wimp).

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 26 May 2015, 01:26
by Fast Farmer
In my mind feedback has multiple benefits. It provides the option of active online discussion and to share various solutions throughout the chook world, it may also encourage offline "lurkers" to come "online" and offer their view. H.G. - likewise, cheques to nephew and niece xmas and birthdays [-(

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 26 May 2015, 21:37
by Henwife
I am particularly ferocious about gifts. If the recipient can't be bothered to acknowledge one, they don't get another.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 27 May 2015, 09:51
by CP
I've noticed that sometimes new members join just to get an answer to a specific question but never appear again on the forums.... :o Who knows the reasons why?

Sadly it is true that Facebook (& perhaps other forums!) seem to have spirited away some of our more lively members as there's not as much of the usual banter we've enjoyed in the past. :(

But some of us are still here \:D/ , so lets not dwell on negative issues & things we have no control over. Hopefully we will all still give our knowledge & help freely as we've done since the start of PK. It would be nice to always get the thanks that we deserve afterwards but please don't let it influence your decisions whether to give that help or not. [-o<

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 29 May 2015, 10:42
by drfish
I'm still around, albeit fleeting currently due to work commitments (it's about the only time I sit in front of a PC, and I can't get on with forums on my phone).

It is true though, forums are a dying breed. Unfortunately the social media boom of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc has kind of taken over what forums used to provide. And to me, it's not necessarily a better thing. But, it's not just the chicken world, forums of every flavour are going down. I used to be an active member of a few car forums, and they've gone the same way. They're just really there for archival purposes now.

But I do agree with the above sentiment. A little gratitude goes a long way, and costs nothing but a few seconds of your time. I was brought up, not dragged up. :mrgreen:

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 30 May 2015, 19:25
by organic chick
Yes I am still around too but only pop in now and again, usually to trawl through something in the archives. I tend to be on FB more as its also a way of keeping in touch with my far flung global relations and friends. Sign of the times I suppose, we all live in different continents and life continues to change in this digital age.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 14 Jan 2016, 23:18
by malkered
Fast Farmer wrote:Why oh why do we bother to answer novice chickeneers problems when there is not the slightest bit of thanks or feedback ?

My most sincere apologies for appearing rude and not responding. My laptop developed a fault shortly after joining the forum and by the time I had it functioning again I forgot which forum I had joined. I just came across a confirmation email hence my reappearing now. I appreciate your feedback and advice which I have just seen and I am grateful. However, seeing the response that my unintentional apparent ingratitude got maybe it's best that I log off and never darken your forum again.

Re: Chicken Bully

Posted: 14 Jan 2016, 23:38
by malkered
Also, not wanting to be obtuse if you had looked at my user statistics you would have noticed that my last visit to the forum (until today) was at 22.47 on the 16th, almost half an hour before Hen-Gen's reply, I hadn't successfully logged on to see your responses. I really do appreciate that you took the time to respond with your help and advice and I'm sorry that it came across that I was lacking in etiquette, common courtesy or gratitude but the fact is I didn't see your replies until today. My lack of response was due to a technology failure and not a defect in my personality. Thanks and Goodbye.