Alpha hen question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LizzyJo, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. LizzyJo

    LizzyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Aptos CA
    So anyway . . . I had a bossy hen that was really making a lot of noise every time she laid an egg. I had some hens that were getting pecked pretty badly just above their tails. I gave the noisy hen away. The next thing I know, the bald hens, who were starting to heal have red skin above their tails again and there is another noisy hen.

    My question is (and I'm afraid I know the answer) does noisiness and alpha-ness go together? If I get rid of this noisy hen, will another take her place and be mean to the four girls who seem to be in the lower social order?

    I have a feeling that I can keep getting rid of hens until I have two left and one will be picking on the other.
  2. DIMBY

    DIMBY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Western Colorado
    my noisiest hen, a BA, isn't the alpha at all, in fact she's one of the most un-dominant hens I have. I thought that egg laying and noisiness just went hand in hand, or wing in wing, at least at first.
  3. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    my noisy hens are not at the top of the pecking order, so noisy and bossy do not seem to go hand in hand.
  4. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2008
    Canton, N.C.
    Any mean chickens go to Jail for a few days---to a pen alone. Seems to settle them down.
  5. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 16, 2009
    Vernon Parish
    I have a Black Aussie hen and did have one Dellie hen both very much louder and seemed like more often in doing the egg song. My aussie hen and my dellie(RIP thanks to the d...nm owls) great layers almost everyday and you always knew it was them that laid or was fixing to lay. They aren't/wern't anywhere near the top of the totem pole either. So I'd say its a vigor thing more than a dominance thing.

    Ever notice how the predators always get the best ones, not something you would cull or eat.asafrazzlin sob's
  6. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I have found that my alpha hens are not the ones that are aggressive, they just seem like they don't have anything to prove. The ones at the bottom are the girls that are always trying to shift the balance of power. Adding or removing a chicken will cause a lot of commotion as they figure out the new pecking order. At one point I had a girl that was so aggressive to another hen that I put her in mean girl jail. She was in a dog crate with food and water within the run. I put her in the coop with the rest at night to keep her safe. It did help after a few days. If it it a number of them pecking at each other (as it sounds like it is) you will want to make sure that they have adequate run space and places to get away from each other. This can be as simple as having a couple of roosts in the run to hang out on. Also, spreading scratch around in the morning can be a good distraction. Chickens need to be mentally and physically occupied or they tend to become aggressive to each other.

    Be careful that none of them draw blood, they can gang up on and kill an injured chicken.

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