CAN I DO SOMETHING ABOUT BULLY HENS?

by Allison Rode
(Delphos, Ohio)

Just this week one of my chickens, Sally, died from what I can only expect was Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome. The bad thing is that she was the ONLY one that protected/befriended my chicken Sweetie that was beat up in the coop early summer last year. Sweetie would have died for sure, but Sally protected her from getting more hurt. Now Sweetie is left with what I call 3 mean girls. They started pecking and chasing her around the coop tonight. I'm just not sure what to do now. Please help!

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Response NEW
by: Allison Rode

Thank you for responding...We started with 6 chickens and one turned out to be a rooster. He was the one who would beat up on Sweetie as well as my 3 year old son. We had to have him terminated. Life with the 5 hens was okay until Sally died. They have ample space since I live on a farm and they have a 10x10 area in a building fenced off for them. They are let out every morning to free range. Sweetie mainly stays in the garage and the other 3 seem to seek her out now just to pick on her. :(

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PECKING ORDER IN THE FLOCK
by: Sharon

I've found it's best to raise a flock together from chicks, if possible, especially if they are to be confined. Sounds like you may not have a rooster, but three very dominant hens.

Pecking Order is a social organization within a flock that is totally normal and natural to chickens, but can seem horribly brutal to us & any that get picked on.

You may need to remove Sweetie for the time being until you can figure something out. A roster could help, possibly adding more chickens, but this is really a difficult situation since you can't watch them all the time.

I don't know how much room your chickens have, how the coop and yard is set up. Sometimes this kind of bullying happens when there isn't enough room and chickens get bored with little to do.

There may be no way to keep the peace for these 4 hens. Wish I could give more advice. But if they can't get along, something has to change. There is no easy trick.

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