Agressive Flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rayna, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Rayna

    Rayna New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2010
    I have 9 adult hens which we bought from tractor supply as pullets (not sure of the breed they look like Red stars but larger) in May so they are about 10 months old now. They are so aggressive I don't know what to do with them. They are not aggressive with me but they are with my cats, other chickens and the ducks. When we got the chickens we had also gotten ducks at the same time and they tolerate each other pretty well. But we had taken in 2 new ducks and had them separated in the pen for about 2 weeks and then introduced them to the flock. They did really well with the ducks but my hens would see them and just attack them and ended up killing both of the ducks. Now I have 13 Red Stars and one Jersey Giant pullets, they are about 12 weeks old. I ordered them as day old chicks and at 4 weeks I put them in the adult bird’s house but separated until about 2 weeks ago. So they were around each other for 6 weeks before I put them together. At first the Adult Hens beat up all of the babies, but now they are leaving the red stars alone and only going after the jersey giant, who is so gentle and won't fight back. It's not just 1 or 2 of the hens it's all of them, they see Giant and just go after her and they’ll trap her in a nest box or a corner in the pen and will just beat her up. I am afraid they are going to kill her, I do break it up and make them get away from her but that almost seems to make it worse. I don't want to get rid of Giant she is such an awesome chicken, but I don't know what to do to stop the 9 hens from beating her up all the time. Please help!
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I think that i would go back to keeping them separated until those 12 weekers get a little bigger and more able to defend themselves.

    Then when the 12 weekers are older, i think i would start integration by putting maybe 3 of the hens in with the younger ones. If you can pick out the ring-leaders of the hens, i would pick those. This might be a useful way to interrupt the pecking order and mess up the team strategies of the hens. Make them the odd ones.

    But from what you said about how aggressive these girls are, i would definitely separate them again.

    On a slightly separate note, i would personally not really be willing to put up with that kind of aggression long term. If i couldn't trick them into acting peaceably, i might have to consider letting the hens move on to greener pastures.
     
  3. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    You might have to separate permanently...or...sigh...consider re-homing that flock and starting over with something more docile.
    Or...cringe...soup pot.
     
  4. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Dover
    I would try working with them more... mine used to gang up on our dogs until I poped them on their beaks...Do what you feel is safe tho but that is unacceptable behavior... if anything hold one of the agressive girls in a towel (so you dont get scratched up) and let one of the other new girls/dogs, which ever you are having issues with, look them over... you are the dominant one, not them. I know its not normal, but its what I did with mine and it worked... I have no integrated new chickens tho, but I have had my share of issues... Good Luck!
     
  5. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    I thought redstars were notoriously aggressive and were usually de-beaked for the safety of others. [​IMG]
     
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    [​IMG]
    Can you tell us a little more about their situation? How big of a coop and run do they have? Do they free range at all? and what is their diet?
     
  7. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when my older hens has a big attitude with the three younger chickens I had the little ones live inside the coop in a dog cage for several weeks, then when let out together, whatever big hen pecked at a smaller one got shot in the face with a water pistol. it honestly took just 2 or 3 squirts to the face before they realised they needed to leave the little ones alone. I still babysat them while they ranged for a week. but eventualy left them alone and everybody was fine.
     
  8. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    I like these ideas. I have 6 birds separated into groups of two because of excess aggression. Two of them stay penned because they attack the cats and my smallest dog. I was seriously considering pot pie on the worst offenders but I'll certainly try the water pistol.
     
  9. Rayna

    Rayna New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2010
    To Choochick,

    They are in a 6' W X 8' L X 7' H house with 3 windows and a Dutch door, 9, 12"x12" next boxes and 12, 8"x8" nest boxes, an 8' long roost stick and 2, 3' corner roost sticks. The pen is 10' W x 10' L X 5' H. with 3 10' roost sticks. They have a 3 1/2 gallon waterer and 2, 7lb feeders in the pen and 2 other waterers around the yard. Over the summer I move their food out of the pen. They are free ranged everyday all day long. They get let out around 6:30 am and are locked back up around 5:30 pm in the winter and let out around 6:00 am and locked back up around 9:30pm in the summer. I top off there feeders and waterer at night when I lock them up during the winter and in the morning during the summer. They always have access to food and water. They are feed a mixture of layer feed, scratch grains, shelled sunflower seeds, old-fashioned oats, dry cat food and oyster shells for the winter to get extra protein and then a mixture of layer feed and scratch grain in the summer. They also get treats of either raw venison, canned cat food or a variety of fruit and vegetables once or twice a week.
     
  10. Rayna

    Rayna New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Quote:I haven't heard or seen anything indicating that in any of the research I have done. Everything I have read actually says they are a docile bird.
     

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