Aggressive White LegHorns

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alanack6795, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. alanack6795

    alanack6795 New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2014
    I've had these guys since late august, Had a bunch of of Leghorns and top hats... Most ended up being rooster so i got rid of them. Im left with 5 Leg horns and one Polish top hat.

    The Leg horns constantly attacked the smaller Top Hat. So i separated them. Top hat has his own coup now. Now the Leg horns are all attacking the rear end of another chicken. Its all bloody and causing the eggs to be partially covered in blood.


    They are all attacking one and i have been unable to pick out the aggressive one (if there is one) [​IMG]
     
  2. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leghorns are a known to-be high strung bird. They need space. Are they free ranging? We had the same problems and the only cure is to get rid of them or give them plenty of space.
     
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  3. alanack6795

    alanack6795 New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2014
    they've been staying in the coup because of the snow its a large coup though and it has a screen house outside of it that they can still go in... so letting them out should help solve this?
     
  4. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most likely. The Top Hats will have an escape and your Leghorns will probably be distracted by other various things.
     
  5. alanack6795

    alanack6795 New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Well checked on my chickens for the 3rd time after school today and the Chicken was dead. Wound didn't look that bad to cause death but i dont know im not a vet.
     
  6. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    Vent pecking can be rapidly fatal. My experience is that many white Leghorns have had temperament neglected in their breeding program since commercial chicken farms tend to order them debeaked.

    I wouldn't put them in with less aggressive strains. That's just me. To make it clear, I watched them try to eat each other's feet as chicks, and then graduate to more pecking, including vent pecking when I had them in high school. I plain don't like them, because I keep chickens partly for relaxation, and chickens eating each other is not relaxing.

    Keeping top hats (crested) with other breeds can lead to real trouble. They can't see as well because of the feathers blocking their view, nd what starts out as possibly curiosity leads to serious consequences; for example, on a regional forum we recently had a woman who discovered her Silkie scalped and her back partly skinned by the Easter Eggers.
     
  7. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    The safest and easiest to deal with flock consists of all the same age, breed, and color, brooded together. I like to call the hatcheries that supply my local feed store and ask them which breeds are least aggressive and least cannibalistic, and I make my purchases accordingly. I keep chickens partly for relaxation and find that outbreaks of cannibalism are not relaxing.

    What you had is what we call a "pick out." Do a Google search on extension and pick out and get information from the extension service on how to prevent it from happening.
     
  8. JazzyChicks

    JazzyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    So I purchased 6 chicks recently. They are all about 2-3 weeks old and have begun feathering out. I only have one White Leghorn and she is becoming rather aggressive. Tonight I fed them meal worms from my hand (as I have most nights this week) and she was pickin em up, hiding them in a corner and coming back for more. Her pecks actually kinda hurt.

    And every time i put my hand in there she fly's around like a crazy bird and avoids any and all contact from me. Most of the others (aside from the shy, stand-offish Arucana) are curious and friendly...

    I have a 1 year old and another baby due in June and want them to be able to learn to handle and love our chickens as they grow older. Is the leghorn worth keeping? I don't need a mean chicken ruining my very first time with chickens...

    Please help!!
     
  9. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    Before the idealists arrive, I will suggest that you want to really think about it. Leghorns tend to be human avoidant, to paraphrase Robert Plamondon, they're easier to have on range because they have room to panic, in a house, they bounced off the walls when he had to come in. I had them in high school more than forty years ago. Most have been bred intensely for production and temperament has been neglected. Long before intensive breeding they were known as high strung and nervous; this is part of the reason that farmers sought dual purpose white egg layers, to the extent that the Lamona, California Gray (originally the "Oregons" at OAC, which were white), the California White hybrid, and the Holland were developed by agricultural scientists at the Department of Agriculture and through state agricultural programs.

    Feeding mealworms by hand while they are in a brooder can add to fighting and aggression. To hand tame a chick, take it out of the pen and hand feed it out of sight of the others. Do this with every chick in your small brooder batch. This eliminates most competition in the brooder over treats, and restricts any aggression to competitions over who gets to be picked up first - which is why I try and pick them up in random order.

    If you hand feed in the brooder, the chicks have one eye the hand with the food, and the other on the other chicks. They want you to give it to them right *NOW* before someone else comes up and takes it - and they aren't share about telling you so - and they may well fight over who gets the treat. This encourages chicken violence - and makes the lower ranking chickens human avoidant, even if it isn't in their nature, because the human hand becomes associated with being attacked by another chick.

    One year olds are a bit young to have much interaction with chickens unless parents are tightly supervising to teach the child how not to frighten or hurt the chicken and vice versa. I would skip the white Leghorn with small children. I'd probably go for Buff Orpingtons, Cochins, and Brahmas - maybe even bantams. Barred Rocks, Speckled Sussex, some Delaware strains, and some Wyandottes are also friendly birds. So are many Australorps. If you want cuddle in the lap chickens, the first three breeds and maybe the Sussex are the way to go. If you want positive, active interactions and a bit less cuddliness, the Australorp, Wyandotte, Delaware, and Barred Rock are the way to go. As a kid, I fell in love with chickens because of Barred Rocks - they would actively engage with me, talk to me, and follow me around being curious and hoping I might turn up a treat for them. They would sit in my lap on their own - but they weren't interested in being picked up - but they'd come surround me when I sat down, and eventually one would jump up to have a "talk." A friend fell in love with chickens because of a large Cochin that was almost like a doll for her - it would let her pick it up and carry it around, a task she found really hard as a small child because the hen was a big hen and my friend was a little girl. She used to even dress it in costumes, something that wouldn't have gone over in my family. B^0
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. alanack6795

    alanack6795 New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Alight they now free range on my 13 acre property. As expected the pecking has disappeared. Of one pecks another it hops away and the attacker becomes distracted. So this is great no more attacks and no more bloody eggs from vent pecking.

    However, what am i going to do in the winter months can they still free range when its 10-20 degrees F out?
     

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