A little background . . a couple of years ago, we got chickens. One was mean and became known as “Mean Chicken”.
Mean Chicken, along with almost all my other chickens were lost in a dog massacre back in December. Three chickens survived out of the red coop, none of the adult bantams survived and three Dominiques in another coop survived.
The three surviving red chickens were living in the big coop. Once we got new chickens, we had to do some switching around to make the coop situation work out.
We built a little “play pen” type area next to the bantam coop since there were five babies that had hatched after their moms were killed so adding three adult hens to that coop shouldn’t be an issue. We put the coop from Tractor Supply in there. The play pen area allows the two groups of chickens to get used to each other without actually being able to fight with each other. It takes a few days for them to get used to each other. The bantams are on the south end (left) of the duplex. When we put the bantams and the three red hens together one red hen was mean to the bantams. We tried everything . . putting her back in the “play pen” area so she could spend a little more time getting used to the other chickens, but nothing worked. I had resisted putting the three red hens in with the three Dominiques because they had never been with a rooster and Wilbur, the rooster, is nice but he’s big!
Finally, out of desperation, because the one hen was being so mean to the bantams, we put the three red hens in with the Dominiques. The rooster kept the bad girl in line for a while but she seemed to run over him too and she was terrorizing the other two Dominique hens so, we put her in solitary. We moved the little Tractor Supply coop over by the first coop and built the “play pen” around it.
She’s been in solitary for probably about a month. Since her pen adjoins the main coop’s run, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to add her in with the chickens in there. I was getting tired of having to keep a waterer outside, a waterer inside and a food container inside . . for one chicken. Last night I said . . it’s time for her to go in with the 10 new hens. They’re pretty much grown . . almost the same size as grumpy chicken and I figured they could hold their own against her. I picked her up and put her in there and knew immediately it was a mistake. She chased them around and had them all running and screaming.
Not long before dark, and just after I had taken my shower, Vince came in and said “We have to get her out of there!” Yep, I knew it wasn’t going to work but I was surely hoping it would. Back into the chicken run, caught the offended chicken and she’s back in solitary. I think she’s perfectly happy living alone but it adds time and work to my chores.
I wonder what makes a chicken be so mean!