Chickens Are Mean

It’s been nearly a week since our new chicks came home and were lovingly adopted by our broody Silkie. It poured rain for most of the week and she and the trio spent their time in the coop. As the weather improved, they spent more of their time outside. That’s when the problems began. This Silkie has always been at the very bottom of the pecking order. I’ve red stories of new mommy hens going to heroic and insane lengths to protect their brood, but unfortunately she couldn’t stand against the venom of fellow bantam. If this little Brahma wasn’t my child’s favorite, she’d be soup by now. But even if we had BokBok stew (yes, my child named her), that’s not to say another bully wouldn’t do the same thing to the new family.

What to do? I supervised some flock together time, but it was tragic to see the feathers flying and panicked quartet running about. I scolded BokBok and tossed her out of the run and coop area, but she was relentless. This was chick endangerment and could easily result in the death of a little one so I separated the family in a makeshift brooder currently residing in the garage. At least they are still happily getting along.

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I really should have a predator-proof isolation coop. It would have been useful during the bloody chicken scare and for future cases when chickens need to be separated. I’m also trying to keep my expenses down, so the DIY weekend project is to construct a chicken tractor made from recycled pallets. I guess I better start taking them apart…

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by A Table in the Sun on June 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    We had one survivor from a small group of new chickens that has NEVER been accepted by The Big Girls. We separated her until she was big enough to defend herself……but the end of the story is still sad. Now that we have put her with the others, she has to sleep outside the house, they won’t let her eat near them, and she has a bald patch on her back where they have plucked her feathers. So cruel! This has been going on for at least 6 months.

    Reply

    • How painful! I’m dreading the time when I introduce our poor bullied hen with her mature brood back into the big girl house. Please let me know if you discover the secret to harmonious chickens.

      Reply

      • Posted by A Table in the Sun on June 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

        The saga continues for our poor Goldie. Her back is raw from being picked on. We built a second chicken house and yard for our new crop of 4 chicks, so we are thinking of isolating Goldie with them when they are big enough to defend themselves in case she is a bully too.

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