Aggressive hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Donnigan, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Donnigan

    Donnigan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two hens that are very aggressive. One of them has always been, the other I'm just now noticing. The most aggressive is a Buff Orpington. She is always pecking or mounting more gentle hens and when i was trying to feed my Sebright bantam and 3 younger chickens bread yesterday she attacked the bantam and chase the chicks away! I assumed she was the top of the pecking order but now a RSL hen had been getting more aggressive to younger hens. This started a few months ago when a young hen was trying to lay her egg "Aggravating/Aggie" jumped in the nest and started pecking her. I put her in the chicken tractor with the tomato peckers and she immediately attcked my Australorp! How can I stop this behavior?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    How big is their area? How many birds? Sounds like you have a bunch of different groups being kept together. Chickens peck each other, especially younger ones.

    Your set up needs to be big enough to give some spots where more submissive members can get away.

    Hens mounting hens in my opinion is a sign of a frustrated hen, a rooster will keep hens busy enough to burn off extra energy. A bit more information would be helpful, otherwise I'm just guessing.
     
  3. Donnigan

    Donnigan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About a half acre for around 50 hens.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    Is the pecking extreme, or just chasing and pecking once or twice? Adults will sometimes go out of their way to remind the younger ones their place. Do you have roosters? Unless the aggression is causing wounds and drawing blood I would stay out of it and let them all work it out, sometimes there's more noise than damage.
     
  5. Donnigan

    Donnigan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three roosters. No body has been injured but it seems like the issue is getting worse. Thanks
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    Sorry I guess I am no help, sometimes an aggressive bird needs to be removed.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with Oldhen. If there's no blood being drawn, it could be just a matter of chicken society at work. It's not all warm and cuddly out there in the coop. Sometimes it can look pretty vicious. But as has been pointed out by other posters, sometimes a younger chicken or submissive hen will take some pretty tough pecks from a more dominant bird, run screaming as if she were being dismembered, and the next minute be standing next to that very same bird you thought was trying to murder her and sharing the feed trough. If it seems to be more than just pecking order squabbles, then I agree with Oldhen again - sometimes you've just gotta take an aggressive one out of the flock. Ask yourself if it's worth having stress and strive in the flock just to keep one or two troublesome birds. Or is it better to get rid of those birds and have a peaceful, harmonious flock. I know what I'd do.
     
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  8. marzloveless

    marzloveless New Egg

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    We had a hen that was being extremely aggressive toward the other hens we have. We removed her a few times, for a couple days at a time, and it worked for a while...but then she started up again, so we had to give her away. We have another one that started becoming aggressive and brooding, so we stuck her with our ducks......seems to be working out fairly well. But removing the problem chickens seemed to be the best way to go with us. Remove them and put them in seperate areas, almost like they are in time out. And put them back in 3-4 days. See what happens after that.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You say a half acre......but how big is their coop?
    I assume that the half acre is just for day ranging and they are locked in coop for safety at night?
    What and how exactly are you feeding?
    How old are the birds being pecked at......and how old are the birds doing the pecking?
     

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