Aggressive Hen..Why? Desperately need advice...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Georgia Dream, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Georgia Dream

    Georgia Dream Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey guys,

    I have a question i cant seem to get a straight answer for, My hen Blackberry was one of the sweeter girls in my little gaggle of chickens. She was my first to stay laying and an overall joy. Though for the past 2 or 3 months shes been completely different.. mostly to my smaller shyer hen Penelope. She will gang up on her with our rooster, Bossman against Penelope to keep her from the food water treats ext. Bossman that was originally the Rooster for both of the hens now favors blackberry to the point he wont even protect Penelope from possible predators. He only focuses on Blackberry completely...Can anyone give me advice.. I know that when blackberry is laying eggs and is out of sight out of mind to bossman that he is just as loving and caring as ever to Penelope.. but once blackberry is back Penelope again is on her own and is left out completely to go and fend for herself basically.. This really frustrates me because i find myself standing guard during feeding time just so Penelope can get some food...When you have to make a wall to keep the two (blackberry and bossman) from attacking her....it passes my toleration zone... Please any advice is GREATLY appreciated! Thank you!!

    P.s. i heard so many times its because Penelope is sick..she is not sick i examined her and took all the precautions she is a very healthy hen...
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try separating Blackberry for a few weeks to lower her rank in the pecking order and see how Bossman acts without her. Put out more food and water stations so Penelope has a chance, the other two can't guard every station all the time. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Do you only have the 3 birds?

    Much as we as humans don't like it, the main reason to be alpha in the animal world is to get the food. It's perfectly normal for the alpha hen to not let the omega eat, that happens in all animals. It's more unusual for the rooster to keep a hen away from food, but maybe he just flat doesn't like her for some reason. If you have food and water available all the time, the omega hen will eat after the alpha has had her fill and left. The alpha may guard the feed for a while, but unless they're in a very small space with the feeder, she'll go off to do something else and the omega will come in and eat. You can try putting up two feeders. When you give treats, spread them out enough the alpha can't hog them all. I scatter my treats over a good 20 feet to allow everyone a chance to get some goodies.

    All my omega animals (dogs, cats, horses and chickens currently) get plenty to eat, but they do eat last. Some continuously challenge the alpha, but most simply accept their place in the hierarchy. I think it's much more distressing to humans, with our concept of sharing, than it is to the animals. Just be sure there's plenty of food and water and she should be fine.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Donrae makes excellent points!

    I also wonder:
    ....about the number/ages of chickens.
    ......if they all grew up together .
    ....and how much coop and run space they have (feet by feet)?
     
  5. Georgia Dream

    Georgia Dream Out Of The Brooder

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    When blackberry is laying eggs or is out of sight of bossman he is perfectly fine with Penelope he is completely involved with her and is acting like his normal self. Though when blackberry is back he completely disregards Penelope and gangs up on her with blackberry...im looking into purchasing more feeders and waters but money is tight currently with my new projects of a better coop and garden lol
     
  6. Georgia Dream

    Georgia Dream Out Of The Brooder

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    i have 3 older chickens (siren itty bitty and betty) then i have the youngest 3 which all grew up together (bossman blackberry and Penelope) They have about a 6 foot by 12 foot coop and the height maybe from ground up including the stairs to the enterence 8ft? they are free range so they have my entire garden and yard to run around and explore.
     
  7. Georgia Dream

    Georgia Dream Out Of The Brooder

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    I dont think thats the case of bossman not liking her because when blackberry is gone he is perfectly fine with her and treats her very well. Im looking to buy more feeders and waters they currently have 2 water dishes and i hand feed them and they have a little trough to go and get food whenever. the treats are hand given and i spread them out in a about 8ft pathway and the 3 older chickens (i have 6 in total) prefer to have their treats away from the young ones.
    Thank you for this information Its very helpful :)
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd give blackberry a time out...for a couple weeks.

    Are the other birds involved with all this?
    Does the rooster mate them?

    How old are all the birds?
     
  9. Georgia Dream

    Georgia Dream Out Of The Brooder

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    no Siren usually chases bossman if he picks on penelope to much or if she screams or gets upset and siren mated with blackberry a few times but bossman never gets to mate with sirens hens he only mates with blackberry..not sure on how old the older ones are...they kinda got adopted at an older age...ive had them for about 5 years.. the younger ones are maybe 8 months?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    So you have 4 females and 2 males?
     

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