???Alpha Hen Mounting Other Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by harewizard, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. harewizard

    harewizard Songster

    Apr 5, 2009
    I have a flock of 7 mixed hens. 2 Red-Sex Link; 2 Black Australope; 1 Buff Orpington; 1 Easter Egger; and 1 Wyandotte.
    They are just over 1 year old and all lay nice eggs daily. About 1 month ago, I noticed that 4 of the hens were looking mottled. Feathers were missing and they had alot of downy showing thru. No bald spots though. I assumed they were molting as there were quite a bit of feathers laying in the coop and in the run.

    Oneday, while they were out in the yard free-ranging, I saw one of my Red Sex Link get on top of my Black Australope and grab her neck and basically hold her down![​IMG] I grabbed RSL and told her 'No' and tried to act as alpha as I could! [​IMG] I watched RSL for a while that day and didn't see her do this again.

    Over the past several weeks, these same 4 mottled hens( 1 RSL, 2 BA, 1 Wyandotte) are just about all downy (except for a few tail feathers and wing feathers) , and some have bald patches. There are quills in the bald patches though, as if it is growing in. But the girls look ragged!

    Now yesterday, the girls were out free ranging. The same RSL mounted the Easter Egger this time, grabbed her neck, and started humping her. [​IMG] (for lack of a better word) I have never had a rooster or seen one mate, but this is what I believe to be Rooster behavior! Again, I grabbed her up and acted as Alpha as I could and told her, NO,[​IMG] and put her in the run. The Easter Egger went about her business.

    What is this going on? I have never seen a hen so Alpha, without being aggressive. She does not pick on, bite, or growl at any of them. She is not mouthy, or boisterous. I have witnessed this mounting behavior from her and only her, at least 4 times. I'm wondering if this is what is happening to the 4 hens feathers? RSL did try to mount Buff Orpington 1x! BO took her down and RSL hasn't tried again.

    Any thoughts on this? I have checked for lice, bugs, worms etc. There is no redness or blood. They are all healthy. Has anyone seen similar behavior?

    Thanks for any insight!

  2. Heckel's Hens

    Heckel's Hens Songster

    Jan 23, 2011
    Southern VA
    I haven't seen it yet myself, but one of the farmers out here warned me of only having hens, for that reason. I'm not sure it worries me that much...better than a crowing rooster! [​IMG]
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    She's showing dominance over the other hens.
    She also may crow really badly. Normal, nothing to worry about unless she starts hurting the others.
    Telling her "No" probably won't do anything to stop her. Maybe putting her into chicken jail for a week or 2 might help knock her down a bit, but then you may just get another doing the same.

  4. harewizard

    harewizard Songster

    Apr 5, 2009
    Thanks for the reply Imp!

    Do you think she is causing the 4 hens feathers to come out.? Could she be that dominate? And why not that dominate over the other 3? [​IMG]
    I guess I thought if she acted like a rooster, I would treat her like a rooster and show her who is boss. However, I think I already knew telling a chicken 'no' is dumb. [​IMG]

    Ahh, chicken behaviors are so fascinating and yet troublesome at times!

    Thanks Imp!
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    It's called the California Syndrome heheheheheee
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Could be the other 3 already accepted her as alpha hen. If it's a pecking/pulling issue could be d/t protein, crowding, boredom.
    I have a hen that occasionally crows and has grown spurs. I haven't found her pulling feathers though.

    Imp- mine don't listen to "No" either. [​IMG]
  7. kano

    kano Songster

    Aug 24, 2008
    Santiago de Chile
    I''ve seen that behavior many times and happens when there is not a rooster in the flock. And sometimes with the rooster present.[​IMG]

  8. annep

    annep Songster

    Mar 4, 2011
  9. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    I have a Speckled Sussex that was the Omega hen when there was only 5 hens. Now that there is 12 hens she is somewhere in the bottom middle ranking. She mounts the new Omega hen, a Australope. It is a dominace thing.
  10. dottie1111

    dottie1111 In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2009
    My Barred Rock Dixie Has Mounted The Other Hens In The Flock She Is The Boss/ About 1 Week Ago I Heard A Low Crow And Went Outside And It Was Her Trying To Crow ....must Be Spring Fever!!!!!!:[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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