Aggressive pullets/hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vicki017, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. vicki017

    vicki017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    8
    58
    Mar 12, 2016
    So my hens/pullets (not sure which to call them) are 5 months and 1 week old today and ever since my barred rock starting laying eggs (the only one laying eggs currently and a little before she started) she's become very food aggressive towards some of the chickens (the smallest Easter Egger fluffy, the smallest RIR Baby, and occasionally the bigger RIR Pecker) she use to never pick on anyone and now she grabs them and doesn't let go (usually she grabs the wings but I've caught her holding fluffy's neck a few times which really concerned me) the first time it happened I thought she was protecting the other EE Gray because baby (RIR) has been chasing gray away from the food and pecking her and one time I moved baby away from gray with my foot pepper grabbed baby's wing and held on until I tapped her back to let go. Ever since then she's been agressive and we noticed if she isn't there they all are calmer though big bird (the biggest bird we have that we don't know the breed of since she's probably a mixture of a couple breeds) tends to pick off the feathers of the lower back of some of them with or without pepper there (noticeably Pepper and Pecker) but she doesn't do anything else besides that not only that but Pepper has layed a couple spotted eggs and a soft shell egg, I'm wondering if she's stressed out or maybe I'm doing something wrong with her nutrition? It's been in 90's/100's here almost all summer so I thought heat might of been an issue but we've had them inside during the heat of the day yesterday and today and it still happens. Overall I'm wondering if there's a way I can have Pepper stop bothering everyone because is she calms down I think everyone else will too. Any ideas/advice?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,906
    9,704
    766
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I would suggest using multiple feeding stations.
     
  3. vicki017

    vicki017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    8
    58
    Mar 12, 2016

    There is multiple we give them different fruits, corn, bread, noodles, regular feed, worms, etc all at the same time
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How many birds and how much space (in feet, not just "a lot"). sounds like it could be a space issue to me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. vicki017

    vicki017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    8
    58
    Mar 12, 2016

    6 hens in a 12 by 12 squared feet area can't really let them free range due to hawk problems however we let them roam around the door some times when we're cleaning their cage or giving them new food but they refuse to go any farther (figures chickens are chicken)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    3,971
    317
    233
    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    For soft shell eggs add oyster shell to their diet. They will always need this extra calcium when laying. As far as the aggressive bird i dont have much advice other than placing rooster booster brand "peck no more" lotion on the picked on birds in the areas she pecks them. This WILL STOP HER. They absolutely hate the smell and taste and stop pecking the area with the lotion. it REALLY WORKS!any farm supply carries it and its not expensive! Ive use mine on chicks and hens. Its served me well. Hope it works out for you as well. Give it a try. They really hate the stuff. They usually peck ONCE then thats it after the lotion is put on the other bird. Good luck
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. vicki017

    vicki017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    8
    58
    Mar 12, 2016

    They've have oyster shells out for them for a few weeks and we've caught her eating it once but she might not be eating enough and doesn't seem to care for it but hopefully the soft shell won't happen again. As for the pecking I will go look for the lotion when we go to Big R next (we have to go get more grit anyways) and see if they have it if not Walmart probably would have it. With the lotion do I have to always have it on for a long while or just a few times until they stop pecking?
     
  8. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    789
    149
    136
    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    We've got a barred rock we named Bonnie the Beak for much the same behavior. She still gives most everyone a good solid peck on the head every night, some more than others, but as the months went by things did get better. Bonnie does a good job maintaining order but the beginning wasn't fun to watch. She's not the top hen, she's actually #2, the enforcer. The top hen rarely touches anyone herself. If the roosting situation gets too loud, #1 issues a chicken roar and everyone quiets down and stops moving.

    Given the limited square footage in your run, do you have multiple levels (perches) in your run so the others have somewhere they can escape to? If you can come up with something that's adjustable/moveable, like branches stuck through chain link fences at the corners and wired into place, little landings and so forth- it can lessen conflict and need not cost much to accomplish. The portability aspect makes giving them a fresh configuration here and there possible.

    Dangling food from perches in a couple spots so the chickens work a little for their food will help exercise their bodies and minds. This time of year, watermelon rinds, whole carrots, cabbage heads- dangling, not just a fast-fed treat-- can really help. Pumpkin halves (when in season) take a good amount of time to eat - busy beaks are happy beaks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  9. vicki017

    vicki017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    8
    58
    Mar 12, 2016
    We have a perch in one corner, the other corner has stones stacked on each other with fresh soil underneath, there's a smaller run in the middle (it connects to the hen house/prebuilt one we bought that had to have the small run attached to put the roof on) they tend to hide in on one side of the small run away from everyone else if they're bothered. We tried hanging a corn on a comb for them to peck at but they didn't like it moving so much. Also for perches they can jump on the mini run and hen house roof if they want to get away as well (it being the highest area in the coop)
     
  10. vicki017

    vicki017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    8
    58
    Mar 12, 2016
    So for the no peck spray/lotion. Our local big R doesn't have it so we decided to put Vaseline on the areas big bird pecks. Well she stopped pecking those areas but now she packs other areas. We just put out a bunch of different food for them to eat and she just seems to do it no matter what we do. I was thinking of more perches but the ones that get picked on don't run away they just cluck/squak when she does it. She's doing to take a feather off and eat it and she will keep pecking until she gets one. She will eat other things like the grass and food we give them while doing this. Is there anything else I can do to fix this or do I have to wait it out?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by