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My hen has become suddenly aggressive.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have four hens, some one year old and the others eight months. They have always been separated into two groups of young and old, and they have been dear friends in each pair. But then I noticed one of the younger hens furiously attacking her friend. It started this evening and just a few hours earlier they were friends but now my submissive hen runs away when her old friend comes near. What has changed her behavior like this suddenly? Also, the submissive hen has not laid eggs for at least three days, unusual for her. Is she stressed because her friend is not being nice to her anymore? Or some other problem? She doesn't feel like she's awaiting an egg either, and is comfortable when I hold her, and is quick on her feet. Could my aggressive hen be undergoing spontaneous sex change by chance?

post #2 of 5

Hey Soot the silkie

 

Any chance the hen who has become aggressive is going broody?

 

Any chance they are coming into a moult?  That could be why submissive hen is not laying and aggressive hen is feeling grumpy.

 

I have two sisters in my flock who are just over 7 months old and while they were inseparable best of friends, they are now picking on each other in an attempt to determine exactly who is going to be bottom on the pecking order ;) 

 

I do have a hen, 3 year old Bantam Langshan, who has never been broody but seems to go through hormonal changes in that she decides she is going to 'protect and feed' the flock and takes on a few rooster characteristics and then after a few days, goes back to her normal self :hu

Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teila View Post
 

Hey Soot the silkie

 

Any chance the hen who has become aggressive is going broody?

 

Any chance they are coming into a moult?  That could be why submissive hen is not laying and aggressive hen is feeling grumpy.

 

I have two sisters in my flock who are just over 7 months old and while they were inseparable best of friends, they are now picking on each other in an attempt to determine exactly who is going to be bottom on the pecking order ;) 

 

I do have a hen, 3 year old Bantam Langshan, who has never been broody but seems to go through hormonal changes in that she decides she is going to 'protect and feed' the flock and takes on a few rooster characteristics and then after a few days, goes back to her normal self :hu


Ok, thanks for the help. I don't think they're going into molt, and I'm pretty sure she's not broody either, but she's always been rather skittish. But the submissive hen has never been a very good layer anyway so she might just be taking a break. I still hate seeing them so unhappy, but hopefully they'll return to normal as you say.:D 

post #4 of 5

Do they have plenty of room?

Pecking orders can change.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 5

Possibly putting them all together instead of in pairs may help.  Normally if a bully is removed from the group for a few days then re-introduced the bully is then at the bottom of the pecking order.

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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