sjt345

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 7, 2011
2
0
7
Hello, I am new to this forum and hoped I could get some advice. A couple of years ago I rehomed four ex battery hens and they were fantastic. They were friendly towards my other animals - dog, cats and rabbits and vice versa. Over the two years all but one of the hens died and a couple of weeks ago I rehomed 3 more ex battery hens. They could not be more different than my previous lot. My existing girl, Dolly is top of the pecking order and that was sorted out quickly. However, the three new ones, one in particular are very aggressive. They are making my poor rabbits life hell and whenever I go anywhere near them, the most aggressive one will peck and chase. My arms are covered in bruises from her 'nips'. I can cope with this but I have two children who like spending time in the run with the chickens and most aggressive hen chases them too. This morning, I lifted the nest box and just moved my son away in time before he was pecked in the face. They are kept in a large walk in run the width of my garden and would like some advice on how to deal with this problem please. I understand that they have had a terrible life so far.
Thanks in advance
 

greymane

Songster
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
4,706
26
203
Snyder County, PA
from the Finger Lakes of New York! Sorry to hear about your crabby chicken. Is it possible that a little more time will sort things out?
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,950
327
351
Colmesneil,TX
I think they will mellow with time but personally I'd take some sort of action. Try pinching the back of the neck/head and holding the hen down. This is a way of showing dominance without hurting the chicken. You'll get a lot of disagreement from the hen and it might not even work unless you do it immediately upon being pecked and are consistent about it. The idea is to hold it to the ground this way till they relax, then let go.

Or just wait. As I said, time may be the best thing to give them. They've had it bad and they reacted with anger. Who can blame them? But with a better life, maybe they'll calm down eventually.
 

sjt345

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 7, 2011
2
0
7
Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. I will try being a bit more dominant with her and see if that helps!
 

TigerLilly

I failed Chicken Math
9 Years
Jul 18, 2010
3,035
8
183
Central Florida

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time with the new rescues. I would give them a couple wks or so to see if they calm down; if not, I'd be getting the crock pot out...
 

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