I adopted two hens last fall to live with my one remaining Bovan Brown production hen who had lost her flock mates earlier in 2015. They were all integrated last October with the Bovan taking the position as top hen, which she had been with her other flock mates. In mid November she fell ill. I brought her in the basement, and it took her all winter to recover. She had lost a lot of weight and had crop problems and lots of diarrhea. I had to tube feed her a few times. She fully recovered and actually started laying an egg occasionally. During March I slowly reintroduced her through a fence, and as of last Saturday, they have all been together. The Bovan lost her spot as top hen, with one of the new hens in charge. In fact, it is the new hen that just started laying on 3/5, about two weeks before I successfully integrated the Bovan.
Shortly after this new hen started laying I noticed she began acting very aggressively for about 15 to 30 minutes after she lays. Prior to integrating the Bovan and when she was alone with the other new hen, I witnessed her chasing her, biting her neck and trying to mount her. Like I said this lasts about 15 or 30 minutes, with her attacking her a couple times, and then it is done. I started watching more closely since adding the Bovan to the mix. The problem hen lays every two days around noon to 1 p.m. She will come down from laying and start eating food as fast as she can. She seems very frantic. The other two stay clear of her, but out of no where, she will suddenly look for them, and chase them down, biting at their necks and sometimes the comb, ears, or wattles, and actually looks like she is trying to mount them, but never stays on top. Two days ago, she caused a small wound on the comb of the Bovan, but it dried up fast and I sprayed with blue kote just to make sure it wasn't looking red.
Has anyone experienced this aggressive behavior after laying. I don't know the history of these two new hens except that they were supposed to be about one year old and were possibly a bantan/regular hen mix. The one laying looks like a barred rock, and the other one is completely black. They never laid for me when I initially got them as it was fall, and they were probably stressed and, in fact, they molted a bit after I got them. I didn't get an egg from them until 3/5 when the one started laying. The other one hasn't laid yet.