Aggressive Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jemagsy, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. jemagsy

    jemagsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    On Thanksgiving we had to remove a hen from our flock due to an injury. She had a large laceration down her back (we think one of the roosters was mating her and started to slide and accidentally scraped her up in the process). Roxy was bleeding and very thirsty when we got home late that afternoon. We cleaned her up and put her in our brooder/quarantine box so she could heal and not get pecked to death by the others. She progressed very well, eating good, drinking plenty of water, reacted the same to me and my husband (she's a very friendly/loving bird), and moving about in the box.

    We recently started free-ranging the birds on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while we are at home and since Roxy had healed up we let her out to play with the others under supervision and to get re-acquainted with the flock. The younger birds that we just introduced in September had no problem with her and would eat grass around her and treated her like they always had (pretty much ignoring her or eating grass and digging through leaves together). When Roxy came around the side of the fence though she noticed the door and went into the run. Our bantam rooster had been making some noise once he saw her outside the fence ("cluck-cluck-cluck-grrrr").. this is the same noise he makes when he's doing his courting dance. When she got completely in the run he attempted to mate her and then one of the other birds (Lisa) saw her and pecked at her until Roxy layed completely down limp. My husband walked over and motioned Lisa away. Then our Bantam Rooster mated her (successfully) and while he was doing his business the other hen - Lisa came back and started attacking Roxy's neck and comb so much so that the rooster ran her off, but by this time Roxy's comb was bleeding.

    We removed Roxanne back to the barn and cleaned her up, but now we are faced with a bit of an issue with her and Lisa (none of the other chickens seemed to mind that Roxy was back - the rooster actually seemed excited - she is his favorite hen). Obviously there was some sort of flock dynamic that we had missed, she is fairly easy going and about mid-way through the pecking order before being removed, but Lisa seems to be either threatened or jealous and trying to kill her? What are your thoughts?

    My husband and I were thinking about giving a 20 minute supervised visit with the rest of the flock again today (outside the run and away from Lisa) during free-range time, and then letting Roxy out for 15 minutes every night the rest of the week (outside the fencing/run) where the rest of the flock could see her and talk to her but not get at her and try to re-acquaint them that way. Suggestions? Is this a bad idea, good one, needs to be modified or completely changed?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    This is fairly common advice on here. Put her in a pen in the coop with the others for a few days.

    This part isn't common. Personally, i'd put the mean one in the pen for a few days instead. Or dab a bit of white nail polish on the bad ones beak, so shes a bit busy running from the attention of all the others trying to get the bit of "food" off her and has little time to fight the reentry of your convalescent.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:LOVE IT.

    Off to find some white nail polish. We have one of those girls.
  4. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    When I get a mean one, I cage them for about 2 weeks & when they come out, they are much better.

    I like the nail polish trick too! [​IMG]

    Good luck!
  5. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    ya i always take out the aggressive one,,,,, that way when you put them back,, they usually start at the bottom of the pecking order again.

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