Aggressive Behavior in Rescued Hen

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,649
11,837
712
Nevada County, CA
I recently rescued 2 hens: a sexlink and an Australorp. The sexlink appears to be in poor shape. She is very, very thin. I'd say critically so. However, she's earing, drinking, pooping, dustbathing, and laying normally.

When I went out tonight to lock them up, the sexlink was in the coop and the Australorp was on top of the coop. I put the Australorp in the coop, and the sexlink went after her like a hen possessed!

I've seen the sexlink peck the Australorp a few times when I've put out food, but nothing beyond normal chicken politics.

Is she just a bully, or might this icky behavior be related to her poor health? Any idea of what I might do about it?
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,649
11,837
712
Nevada County, CA
Today it's not as bad, but she still gives the Australorp the stink eye and pecks her when she gets too close.

And, gosh, the sexlink is skinny! She weighs just over 3 lbs. I feel almost no meat on that keel. Maybe it's food aggression? Like other animals (including ppl) when facing starvation?

I am worming them. Fingers crossed...
 
Dec 14, 2019
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Maybe she has a deficiency? My hens will peck the others if they need more calcium. They’ll peck out their feathers an eat them. Maybe that’s why If you say they were rescues they might need more vitamins? For our goats we have a power punch( they make it for turkey, not sure if they have it for chickens) that we give them when they arrive here. We also do proviso if they need a little kick. Maybe you could do some minerals in their water? Or I could also be completely wrong and it’s just a behavioral thing. 😁🤷‍♀️
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,649
11,837
712
Nevada County, CA
Anything is possible. I've been mixing NutriDrench in their morning mash, but who knows? I didn't see this behavior on the "farm" I rescued them from. Maybe stress-induced?

My hope is that the behavior will subside as their condition/health improves.

OH! New behavior observed this morning: the sexlink was tidbitting the way a rooster would! The "farm" had roosters...

This is one weird chicken.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,654
3,154
391
Hudson, Colorado
I wouldn't put too much into her aggressive behavior. All animals get aggressive over food when deprived for extended periods. Keep the feeder full. Sprinkle feed on the ground to provide a job and distraction for her. A can of mackerel would be a good high protein treat.
 

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