What to do with a bully...

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Nick
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What to do with a bully...

Post by Nick »

Hello all!

I have a bullying problem in my flock.
Currently I have two Dark Brahmas - cock and hen
One Lavender Araucana hen
These three are all young, hatched in July.
One Welsummer (the bully) - oldest hen about 18 months old
One Speckledy hybrid - rather weak and wobbly - but a good layer and super friendly.

The welsummer bullies all the others, even the Brahma cock who is at least twice her size, but she spends most time hassling the speckledy. She ends up spending most of the life in the chicken coop while the others free range around the allotment.

A couple of weeks ago she was really mullered by an Araucana Cockeral (hatched at the same time as the other youngsters) who promptly became sunday lunch. However, the wounds were reopened by the Welsummers bullying. So, I brought the Welsummer down to the backgarden for a couple of weeks. during this time the speckledy had a lovely time - wandering round with the others, all roosting together - really nice.
I reintroduced the Welsummer a couple of days ago - hoping she would have lost her place in the pecking order, and would be a bit nicer. None of it - she immediately went to town on the whole flock and the poor speckledy was forced to spend the last few days cowering.
Welsummer is back in the backgarden (chicken prison).
What to do next?

Keep her down here forever ? Annoying, and cruel on her really - she is a beautiful chicken
Turn her into sunday lunch? A shame - she is a good layer, still young and very pretty
Give her away? Whould she just hurt anyone else's flock and lose me friends?
Keep her down here for the whole winter, and see if she can be reintroduced in the spring when she might be laying again and the cock might be a bit more forceful?

Any ideas?

thanks all!!

Nick
karminski
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by karminski »

can you not seprate a bit of the area of where they all live so she can still see the others but not get to them to bully them about that would really be the best solution try her like that for a week or so .
i have about 8 mixed breeds that pick on my 2 cuckoo marans but at present i cant seprate them as i am changing the whole run so i can pretty much cure my mud prob but once this is all done i think my 2 cuckoos will have thier section .
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Marigold
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by Marigold »

I once had a real bully of a Speckledy, who was actually meek and mild and bottom of the heap until two new POL hybrids arrived. Even with them separated in the run, she managed to attack them through chicken netting mesh, so I had to fix up a double layer to keep them apart. She was managing to really chew them up through the mesh and was also puffing herself up and producing really terrifying roaring noises at the two poor little things. I really think she might have killed them if I had let her get at them. Luckily for me, a friend took her on, she once again became bottom of the pile in a new group of chickens, and lived a long and presumably happy life, or at least a harmless one. If you have a friend who would be willing to try integrating her, you could give it a go - tell your friend to keep her separate but in sight of the others for a while, and probably she will knuckle under. If not, well, nobody has to put up with a nasty- natured hen, it's not fair on the others, especially if you've done all you can for her. You've certainly tried your best and done all the right things so far.
Chuck
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by Chuck »

You get the occasional rogue who takes up bullying and won't stop. You can try giving her away or cull her which is safest as they can do damage very quickly. A mature, assertive male will help to keep her in order so if you could find a home with such a male, that could work.
If you are willing to go that extra mile for your poultry - make sure you're going in the right direction !
Nick
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by Nick »

Thanks both.
I guess I knew there wouldn't be a simple solution. Such a shame - now the bully is away, everything is happy in the allotment. I'm starting to wonder if she might just be happy on her own in the back garden for ever. She seems happy enough, roaming around, preening, trying to bully the pigeons and then looking on is disgust as they fly up into the tree and laugh at her. I have a suspicion that she is making pacts with the songbirds to chuck seeds down to her out of the feeders...
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Marigold
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by Marigold »

Well, if everybody else is happy down at the allotment, and she is perky in the garden, and you don't mind having her there, that seems a good solution, certainly better than having the others bullied!
Chuck
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by Chuck »

You get the occasional individual of all species who are perfectly content on their own and don't seem to need their own kind.
If you are willing to go that extra mile for your poultry - make sure you're going in the right direction !
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chrismahon
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by chrismahon »

We had one as Chuck describes Nick. Loved being on her own and used to make cockerel 'call to feed' noises to her 'flock' of just one! Remained on her own and had her own coop, a cage in the dining room, which she used to go to on her own. She still used to free range with the others for short periods but didn't really enjoy being there- couldn't wait to get back to her isolated home. As Chuck says the actions in order of preference are 'isolate temporarily', 'isolate permanently', 'find a new home', 'fit a Bumpa beak bit' or absolutely finally 'cull'.
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Sue
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Re: What to do with a bully...

Post by Sue »

When one of my hens wouldn't stop bullying another I put her in a separate run with the top hen as I knew she wouldn't be able to bully her! The two of them now live happily together in a run next to the rest of them, who now live happily together.
In life not everyone follows the same road. Especially if their Sat Nav is broken!
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