Nobody likes a bully-- and your chickens are no exception! "Chicken bullies" can cause some rifts in a flock; but, on the bright side, there are plenty of steps that chicken owners can take to minimize bullying and create a safe environment.
What is Chicken Bullying?
"Chicken bullying" is a pretty broad term. It might be easier to tell you what it's not.
Instead, you should think of chicken bullying as a more targeted (and problematic) behavior. It occurs when members of a flock systematically pick on one or a small group of hens.
Some chicken bullying is relegated to feather plucking and other similar behaviors. This, obviously, is not ideal-- but it still beats more aggressive bullies. Some instances of chicken bullying escalate into fights that cause severe injuries (or even death).
The Pecking Order
Chicken bullying may seem like it's partly tied to a flock's pecking order. In reality, this isn't true.
How to Stop Bullying
If you notice an issue with bullying hens in your flock, there are several steps you can take to try to mitigate the behavior. Try out:
In rare cases, roosters actually emerge as the bullies of a coop. If you notice your rooster acting a little too aggressive, try:
Stopping chicken bullies in their tracks isn't always difficult, but you might need to get a little creative! There are lots of fun and enriching ways to help your chickens chill out and keep the peace.