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Aggressive behavior when laying begins?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hillybesn, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. hillybesn

    hillybesn New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2013
    I have 4 hens and a roo, I woke up this morning to our roo sounding off like a car alarm went outside and magically our first egg, I thought I had an idea of who it was because I found my two silver laced wyonettes doing the deed a few days ago and when I took the egg sure enough that's who pecked me, well I went back out to bring them fresh water since it's snowing here and I find a bloody coop apparently my smallest (white leghorn) must of gotten in a fight or something because her comb is hanging broken and her poor head is all bloody, now I'm worried about her out there in the snow storm , do u think it's aggressive hens due to the laying or do u think it's unrelated, these are my first hens and I don't know if it's typical for tensions to rise when laying starts
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Tensions do rise upon laying, but there's always a bird who lowest in the pecking order, usually they work it out.
    If pecking/bleeding continues, you're going need to get that injured bird away from others....or segregate the bully if you can identify it.
    How big is your coop,?.... crowding make everything worse.
     
  3. hillybesn

    hillybesn New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2013
    Coop is pretty big 6 feet by 6 feet for 5 total occupents
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    While "technical" standards would agree that your coop is big enough, in reality it's not that much space for 5 standard size birds. Especially if they are spending a lot of time inside due to bad weather. It's possible they are just getting on each other's nerves and if they are starting to lay that will compound that issue.

    You will definitely have to keep a close eye on them and hope it doesn't continue or get worse. Give them plenty to do, a flock block to peck at, some alfalfa hay to scratch apart, toss some scratch in with it to occupy them. Anything to redirect their attention.

    It is also possible that your rooster caused this injury during the act of mating, especially if he also is young and inexperienced. They sometimes grab the comb rather then the neck feathers.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Is this all the space they have? If so, that's your issue right there--they're way overcrowded.
     
  6. hillybesn

    hillybesn New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2013
    I dunno if I explained that wrong haha it's a shed 6 feet tall, 6 feet deep, and 8 feet wide, they are confined to it right now because of the snow storm, it seems spacious for five hens but maybe not?
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My thinking is....if they've just recently been confined to that space, and the behavior started after you confined them.....then yes, they're overcrowded. Pecking and other behaviors are the only way they have to tell us they need more space.

    Usually with chickens, the lower ranked birds just stay out of the higher ranked bird's way, they can run away and get out from under each other. But in a confined space, the lower ranked birds literally have no where to go, and can't get away. Plus, being confined seems to make everyone get on each other's nerves more--I know it sure does in my house!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X2, I do think the confinement is probably your problem. That is certainly a spacious enough coop if they were going out in a run elsewhere all day but if they are stuck in there due to the weather, yeah, boredom and close quarters mean issues are likely!
     

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