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Desperate help wanted

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Hi guys I am in desperate need of some advise.

We rescued 12 ex-batts on monday , 5 young ones and 7 old ladies. 1 of the old ladies is a monster :evil: she keeps pecking everyone and will not allow the young ones out to eat. I have in 4 days only seem them out once and that was this morning when we forced them all out and locked the hatch door!. I put the naughty one in isolation for a couple of hours to see what happened and they moved about abit but still have there heads down and are not eating. :( I am realy worried as I dont want to have rescued them for them to die of starvation or thirst. Please please help if you can.

I could cry I thought we were doing a good thing but it seems to be a bit of a disaster.

On a good note the old ladies are looking great and have even started having dust baths in the sun. 8) Its just the babies I am worried about. Might need to get them a new home? Not sure PLEASE HELP!!!!


Trig xx

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Trig, try not to get upset you HAVE done a good thing. Bear with them for a couple more days, maybe they just need a little more time establishing their pecking order. Can you keep them seperated for a few days so the babies can get some confidence?


I love the stories of the rescued ex-batts and im sure yours will be a happy ending too in time :)


IF they dont settle and you need to rehome them, where are you.....?


Faye x

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How awful for you. I would be worrying too. But it is great that you have rescued the little darlings.

I think that I would probably keep them separated for at least a week (where the other ones could still see them). If they are medically ok. The food thing maybe just a nervous thing because of the change and new surroundings.

I have recently read in a book that sometimes rejection from other chickens is largely to do with smell and the book suggested to put them all in together at night. When they can't see any threat and to spray all birds with a weak solution of vinegar and water.The idea is that they then all smell the same.

Perceviere ! Best of luck.

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Put plenty of food and drink stations around.....located as far as poss apart.


She can't "man" more than 2 at a time.


I'd be inclined to fit an anti peck ring to her.


A spot of "solitary" for a couple of hours a day if you can manage it will give the others a chance to eat.


I'm sure it will settle down eventually....it is just horrible to observe.

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what's your set up like? do you have a large run with a few different feeding stations? Can you put another feeding station near the door of the coop/eglu so the other girls can get to it?


we had a similar problem with Maud who kept bullying Shalott and kept chasing her back into the coop so I had to lock Maud in the outside run a few times on her own while the others ate together in the smaller run.


We also added an extra feeding station near the coop door so Shalott could grab something to eat before she got chased back inside.


We also scattered some sweetcorn on the floor of the larger run to distract Maud from her bullying tactics and got them used to all feeding together.


It took a while but it all settled down eventually but it was very painful to watch.

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Hi just to echo what everyone else has said, seperate her not them, make sure she can still see them (put bamboo canes through part of the run if you need to just to keep them apart) then let the babies find their feet and gradually reintroduce them. Our ex-batt coordinator suggested a light shake of mite powder at night would make them all smell the same and it's the easisies time to introduce them. And if it really really comes to it I'd rehome her not them as she'll probably just find someone else to pick on. But do bear with it, it's awful to watch, ours fought like a full on cock-fight at first, but they're only just discovering proper chicken behaviour, good and bad and they all need time to learn what's acceptable and what they can get away with. hopefully the babies will soon learn that they can fight back and pecking order will be established.

Good luck, it's so awful and stressful to watch, but you HAVE done a good thing. I didn't know you could rescue babies as well as old ladies so hang in there


Mrs Bertie

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