I have a LF Partridge Rock that relentlessly attacks my Dutch Bantam. The LF will jump onto the Bantam's back with both feet and grab her by the feathers on the back of neck and repeatedly yank her. They are both hens and the Bantam is lower on the pecking order. Last night the LF jumped up on the shelf where the Bantam was sleeping and stood on her head. The LF is sweet to humans and is normal to the other hens but she is awful to that one Bantam. I will put her in a 'time out' cage but this only stops for about 30 mins after she is let out of the cage. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to correct this problem?
Correcting Behavioral Issues
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How many other hens are in the flock? Do any others treat this bantam roughly?
Often, any difference will set off some chickens, sort of like people being so uncomfortable with ethnic and cultural differences, they resort to violence. In both cases, it's a need to drive out the different one from the social group so things are again comfortable.
Sometimes, the aggression against a single hen is due to an illness or injury. Again, the need to protect the social order and gene pool begets violence. Give the bantam a good inspection to rule this out.
Trying to change this behavior is very challenging. I don't recommend holding the aggressor upside down, but you may be able to get your point across to her that her behavior is unacceptable by poking her sharply on the back of the head when you see her going after the bantam. This is how higher ranking chickens administer discipline to trouble-makers.
Another strategy is to remove the aggressive hen from the flock for at least a week. When you return her, she will have lost her rank and will be so busy defending herself, she may not have time to renew her attacks on the bantam.
Try these things and see what happens. Come on back and we'll brainstorm other tactics if she's still a problem.
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I have 8 hens and 1 rooster but the rooster doesn't really protect the hens like he's suppose to. The Bantam does not get picked on by the others much. They all tend to pick a little at each other but not aggressively. I got the LF from a friend that was having the same issue with her, she singles one out and is very aggressive. The LF is not healthy, she has some sort of organ failure but is currently acting normal. I am working with a vet for her. But she was inside for about 5 days and then when I put her outside again, within 2 days she was right back at attacking the Bantam. The Bantam is healthy even with this stress surprisingly. Although I'm sure having a 5 pound hen jumping on her back may cause issues internally as the Bantam is small. I do shove the LF off the Bantam but by that time the LF is hard to catch to flick in the back of the head. Next time I will try doing that though as I have seen the others do that to some. I do have plenty of space for them in there coop and there run so it's not a crowding issue and the LF was acting aggressive even before she started showing signs of organ failure.