Alpha hen = OUCH!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lostnstars, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. lostnstars

    lostnstars Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2014
    I have four chickens that are about 6 months old. Three are buff orps and one is a RIR. Even though the RIR is the tiniest, she matured the fastest and started laying, tiny, eggs 3 weeks ago. Now she's getting too big for her britches!

    She is the only one that lets me touch her anymore. As chicks they would hop all over me and loved perching on my shoulder and head. Now Hawk is the only one I can get near. She does the stompy, submissive squat and let's me pick her up without protesting.

    The last couple of weeks I have noticed she gets defensive when I reach out my hand to try and pet any of the other chickens. I was regularly testing to see if I could elicit a sub squat from the blondies but I have given up on them till spring. Anyway, I thought she was just being a bossy hen and trying to keep what she thought of as the roo (me) all to herself. That changed today when she charged bit, and then twisted my skin in her beak. Twat. So I grabbed her by the beak and shook it. I was so surprised and it was the first thing that came to mind. I let go and let my arm hang in reaching distance of her but didn't actively advance on her or the other chickens. She went cujo on me again so I grabbed her and flipped upside down and just cradled herin my arm for a few minutes. When I put her down she did it AGAIN so I jabbed her in a pecking type way and then charged her.

    That got her to back off but for crying out loud. The other three already won't have anything to do with me unless Hawk really proves to them it's safe. Now they're all going to hate me!
     
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2014
    Hello,and welcome to BYC!

    RIR's are a very mean breed.She is probably just very protective and/or jealous.I would get rid of her as soon as possible.You could start hand feeding them.This will get the closer in relationship.Talk,feed,and pet them as they eat out of your hand.
     
  3. lostnstars

    lostnstars Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2014
    Just an update: she is still kind of mean but now I have to watch one of my Orpingtons lol. I got my 4 birds when they were 3 weeks old and while they are interested in me and will approach me, they are very bitey at times.

    While my RIR is mean, it's not enough to cancel out the massive amounts of eggs she produces. So I'm keeping her around [​IMG].
     
  4. NHChickengirl

    NHChickengirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2013
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    My RIR were never mean. But she does sound like she is definitely at the top
    Of the pecking order. Maybe because she is the only one. I would keep acting like you are the rooster and putting her in her place. And bribe her with treats..
     
  5. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Welcome. Just a random thought straying across my brain. What if you were to segregate her for a few days, up to a week, from the others and then put her back? Would that knock her down a peg or two in the pecking order so she accepts you better?
     
  6. lostnstars

    lostnstars Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2014
    I'm not sure. Maybe. I don't really have a place to segregate unless it's an emergency. The RIR has mostly stopped but the buff Orpington has been quite nasty the last couple of months. It's definitely dominance. She attacks me almost every night when I bring out their small scratch ration. I feel she's demanding I drop it immediately lol. I just go after her and "peck" at her with my fingers and chase her till she backs off. That usually does the trick for a few days lol.
     

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