Alfa Roo being REALLY mean to Beta Roo?

nelda1234November 21, 2008

Hello all,

My alfa roo Silver is being really mean to our beta roo Mabel. I know that there is a pecking order and that he is the Alfa Roo - but he has even been chasing him away from the pen, away from scratch feed, away from just about everything - Poor Mabel has been standing quite a distance away from everybody with just a couple of hens and he really looks upset and dejected - I mean he really looks like that, I feel bad for him, should I do something about it and what something would I do? Or should I just leave the family dynamics alone?

can anybody help me?

Thank You,


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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

My Head Roo Phoenix is currently being a bit of a butthead to our secondary roo also, a bantam named Scott. Same thing, chasing him away from food & hens too much. When I see the balance becoming too one-sided, I take the bully down a peg or two by scooping him or her up (this works with hens, too) and standing around petting them, in full view of the other roo/hens. Your other roo may talk trash to the roo you are holding and even shuffle sideways a bit and peck the ground while looking at him. This is heavy-duty, disrespectful 'dissing'! After a minute or two of petting, put the offending bird down again. They'll walk off with an embarrassed mutter. Your beta roo, if he's smart, will high-tail it away once the big guy gets put down again. The big guy is left with a smarting ego for a few moments, but no other damage.

You have to do this delicately, only do it when the abuse gets out of hand, as otherwise your flock can get confused as to who is in charge. But in limited quantities, it works! :)

You can also reinforce your beta roo's standing by holding back a bit of food or a few goodies for him, after you've handed out the lion's share to your Head roo. Once the Head Roo is eating and happily distracted, go over to your beta roo and quietly give him HIS share. He'll appreciate it and call over his girls. Do this a bit of a distance away from the main group, too close to the Head Roo and he'll come stomping over right away.

Chickens can be SUCH drama queens...

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 12:05AM
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We had this problem when the Beta took over the Alpha position through a long day of fighting and then wouldn't let him back into the coop to roost at night and wouldn't let him eat. It went on for a week and the picked-on guy had to be isolated and fed separately. He wasn't at all happy to be away from the hens and finally started attacking me when I would feed him.

That lasted about two days and he became soup. Some problems just don't go away and affect the whole group.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:17AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Yeah carmen, it's a little surprising how much it upsets and affects the entire flock--we even had a short interruption in egg production from our girls because of it!

One of our boys really dodged a bullet, so to speak. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:08PM
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