November 9th, 2009 .

Victoria is definitely the most difficult chicken – I think she goes out of her way to make my life difficult!

I have had problems with her escaping from the their area for a while now. She loves to fly over the electric fence and leave a trail of destruction through my garden. It hasn’t been causing me so many issues recently as I am not really growing anything at the moment, but it will start to become an issue in the spring, and I’m getting fed up of her leaving chicken poos all over the garden.

As well as this, I’m pretty sure that it’s her who starts them all off making a racket early in the morning. Again, this isn’t causing me a lot of troubles at the moment because I am getting up as soon as it is light now, but in the summer it is not fun to be awoken by a load of chickens at 5am.

The other problem with Victoria is that she is a bit of a bully. She is a lot bigger than the other chickens, and she is definitely at the top of the pecking order. I haven’t witnessed her bullying very much recently, because I hardly ever see the chickens at the moment, but yesterday was a Sunday and I spent a bit of time watching what the chickens were doing.

Yesterday morning, Meg was looking a bit miserable, and when I went over to look at her I noticed that she was actually bleeding from her comb. Then, when it started to get dark I looked out and saw that Daisy had gone to bed, and Victoria and Meg were still outside. Every time Meg tried to go in the chicken coop, Victoria would chase her out until she retreated underneath the coop. Then I watched for about 5 minutes, and every time Meg tried to come out from underneath the coop Victoria would chase her back in. It actually made me feel really sorry for her.

Poor old Meg doesnt look too happy

Poor old Meg doesn't look too happy. She clearly has blood on her comb...

After watching it for a few minutes I decided to go out and break it up – otherwise the door would end up closing and locking poor Meg outside. When I went over, I noticed that Victoria had blood on her beak which makes me pretty sure that she attacked Meg earlier. I grabbed Victoria and walked around the pen with her for a while – this seemed to calm things down. She hates being picked up and I held her until he got really upset and started flapping. Meg still hadn’t gone inside yet, so I put Victoria down, and chased her away every time she got anywhere near Meg.

I’m not really sure what to do about this – I’m starting to think that Victoria is having a negative effect on the rest of the chickens. The only solution that I can think of for her escaping is to put them back in the old run, but this would obviously mean that they have a lot less space and it doesn’t seem fair on the other chickens. The only other alternative that I can think of would be to clip her wings but I’m not sure if I want to do that either.

I don’t think there is an easy solution for the bullying. If I was choosing my chickens again I would make sure that they were all very similar in size to try and avoid this happening.

Maybe the only thing I could do would be to get rid of her and replace her with a more docile chicken – that would solve all of the problems (but probably create a load more!).

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