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Killer Chicken

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My Ameraucana, Feather is at the top of pecking order. She pecks and tries to pull off feathers from my Buff Orpington, Chicka constantly who WAS her challenger. By the way it looks Chicka does not challenge her anymore.

Feather breaks her eggs. I use to think she would just be impatient waiting for a spot and lay where her egg would drop and break. Today I got her egg from the nesting box and saw she pecked a hole in it.

I'm starting to think Feather killed one of my chicks.


Will she stop this behavior? How do I stop it?
post #2 of 9
I would eat that one i have one that attacks the others but doesnt destroy eggs but she is going to the freezer soon
post #3 of 9
She sounds like an aggressive hen. What are you feeding them, egg eating is usually from a protein or occasionally calcium deficiency. How big is your set up? Some don't do well with less space.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raderby Ranchin View Post

My Ameraucana, Feather is at the top of pecking order. She pecks and tries to pull off feathers from my Buff Orpington, Chicka constantly who WAS her challenger. By the way it looks Chicka does not challenge her anymore.



Feather breaks her eggs. I use to think she would just be impatient waiting for a spot and lay where her egg would drop and break. Today I got her egg from the nesting box and saw she pecked a hole in it.



I'm starting to think Feather killed one of my chicks.





Will she stop this behavior? How do I stop it?

 



Not sure what your set up is like, how old your birds are or how many birds you have... So this is my advice based on my set up.

We have limited room ( urban 1/4 acre yard) and strict city ordinances ( limit of 6 hens - no roosters). We have 5x5 coop and a huge fenced run ( think 1/3 of the yard)This happened to us with an EE we had ( and raised from a chick) a few years back. She was in our mixed flock of BR, GSL & Buckeyes. In order of what we attempted to curb the extreme bullying ( ie it wasn't just pecking order - she was actually injuring other hens)

1. We separated her into a dog crate in the run - so she could see the others and they could see her. Let her out after a couple of days. She went right back to the same behavior.
2. Into the dog crate again for 2 weeks ( of course with fresh food, water, treats). Worked for about a week - she was noticeably calmer and actually lower in the pecking order - then she worked her way back up and began injuring others again.
3. Found her a home with someone with a much larger flock than us AND with a Rooster that didn't "put up with" bullying hens. She integrated fine and last I heard was happy member of the flock.

Do you have or can you have a rooster? They really can make a difference with a bully hen.
Are they in a small environment ( like a tractor or small pre-fab coop). More room can sometimes make a difference.
Ultimately, you may need to re-home her or send her to freezer camp

Just fyi - after my initial mixed flock departed - I eventually switched my breed preferences and now have Sal Favs and LF Cochins. Both breeds known for their docile nature. I hate drama wink.png Oh and a persistently broody silkie whom I do not count in my "6 hen" limit as she rarely ever lays an egg!

Best of luck to you!

~~"To a man who keeps hens, all poultry lore is exciting and endlessly fascinating."~~ EB White

APA member

 Faverolles

My avatar is from this article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/owl-raises-chicks-at-german-zoo-a-829641.html

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~~"To a man who keeps hens, all poultry lore is exciting and endlessly fascinating."~~ EB White

APA member

 Faverolles

My avatar is from this article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/owl-raises-chicks-at-german-zoo-a-829641.html

Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. No I can't have a roo. Space is small but but I let them out a few hours 2 or 3 times a day. She is not a meat breed. She is boney. She is my only green egg layer and my wife's favorite. I will try separating her. If she must go, I with try out my first harvest. But I really don't think I'll get much meat.
post #6 of 9
Small spaces make chickens aggressive, try enlarging their pen, some aren't good when confined.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raderby Ranchin View Post

Thanks for the advice. No I can't have a roo. Space is small but but I let them out a few hours 2 or 3 times a day. She is not a meat breed. She is boney. She is my only green egg layer and my wife's favorite. I will try separating her. If she must go, I with try out my first harvest. But I really don't think I'll get much meat.

How many birds in how much space(feet by feet)?

What and how exactly are you feeding?

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 #8 of 9

No one has suggested pinless peepers yet as an option. They're easily obtained on the internet, inexpensive and often will solve the problem by inhibiting the vision of the bully while still making it possible for her to function normally.

post #9 of 9
Another option that has worked for me in the past is separating her so that she can't see the flock for several days. When you put her back in she should be at the bottom of the pecking order and the others should keep her in line. This worked for a hen I have who just loved plucking those fluffy butt feathers. It wasn't a protein issue as she didn't eat the feathers. She was just mean. 3 days in solitary straightened her out
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