Angry hen

Chris-n-Kate

Songster
Mar 13, 2019
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I got 6 rir in early March but lost one. The remaining 5 have all started laying eggs. One of them has gotten a nasty attitude since starting to lay that’s progressively gotten worse. She puffs up and growls when approached and causes a scene if I go to collect eggs before she’s done laying hers. She isn’t broody because she doesn’t sit on the eggs after she lays hers and Roosts at night. Will she calm back down after she’s been laying awhile or is this going to be her permanent personality from now on?
 

DobieLover

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She isn’t broody because she doesn’t sit on the eggs after she lays hers and Roosts at night. Will she calm back down after she’s been laying awhile or is this going to be her permanent personality from now on?

It sounds like she is thinking about becoming broody. It is a bit uncommon for a newly laying pullet to go broody but not unheard of.
Keep watching her for refusal to get off the nest. Broodiness is a process that builds. She is exhibiting early signs.
I would get together the materials you will need to break her. You'll eventually need them anyway. I use a small size dog crate with a wire bottom, two pieces of 4x4 lumber to support it off the ground, another piece of board to keep inside the crate for the broody to sit on and food and water containers to secure in the crate.
 

ValerieJ

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I don't disturb my hens if they are on the nest to lay an egg. I just go back out a while later and collect the eggs. If the hen is broody, then I will disturb her and take the eggs, because with no rooster, the eggs aren't fertile. I haven't had to use a crate to get a broody to stop at this point. So far just moving her off the nest regularly has done the trick.
 

Acre4Me

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I agree with @DobieLover that she could be starting broodiness, with the growling the most distinct here. However, could be “moodiness” too or an adjustment to laying hormones. We have an SLW from a Feb 2018 hatch. When she started to lay and until winter she was a moody/grouchy chicken, especially on the nest. Wow! She would puff up, bite your hand, and make noise (can’t remember if growling). She was never broody...just grouchy. She has since settled and is perfectly fine, of course it helps that she is one of the top 2 hens, and does not take sass from any flock members. We have a BA from same hatch and she went broody only 2 months after beginning to lay, and has been broody 4x so far (and raised 3 batches of adopted chicks).

Watch for her sitting on the nest for any extended period, or trance-like behavior on the nest. Since she is puffing up and growling, could very well be early broodiness.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
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Apr 15, 2015
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I got 6 rir in early March but lost one. The remaining 5 have all started laying eggs. One of them has gotten a nasty attitude since starting to lay that’s progressively gotten worse. She puffs up and growls when approached and causes a scene if I go to collect eggs before she’s done laying hers. She isn’t broody because she doesn’t sit on the eggs after she lays hers and Roosts at night. Will she calm back down after she’s been laying awhile or is this going to be her permanent personality from now on?
Congratulations you have one wanting to go broody broody, it will be up to you to let her sit and hatch eggs if there is a rooster , get hold of some fertilized eggs locally or try to break her broodieness, it's rare but does happen, watch whit my Rhode Island hens when they started laying the one would sleep down on the eggs in the dirt and protect them and act broody but not truly broody as the eggs were getting broke by both her and the other hen, I do have a RIR currently wanting to brood that is persistent broody so not laying any eggs but refuses to accept others eggs either, where good broody RIR I lost would hatch everyone's eggs, goofball tried sitting on 30 eggs which isn't doable, she hatched out 10
 
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Chris-n-Kate

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Mar 13, 2019
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Interesting. I was under the impression that it’s incredibly rare for rir to go broody, so I got cochins hoping to have broody hens next spring, so I wouldn’t be upset if she did go broody.
I’m not intentionally trying to disturb them while they are laying but I’ve been trying to check for eggs more often because some have gotten broken when I was waiting till everyone was done.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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Interesting. I was under the impression that it’s incredibly rare for rir to go broody, so I got cochins hoping to have broody hens next spring, so I wouldn’t be upset if she did go broody.
I’m not intentionally trying to disturb them while they are laying but I’ve been trying to check for eggs more often because some have gotten broken when I was waiting till everyone was done.
will depend on the individual, I had a RIR brood, and she actually spent 3 months, which is unusual with her chicks across the yard from the flock, before going back to the flock with her pullets and cockerel. be prepared though some want to brood but takes em a bit to get it figured out, once one successfully brooded they all wanted to do it but were impatient wanting baby chicks to come out lol
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
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Interesting. I was under the impression that it’s incredibly rare for rir to go broody, so I got cochins hoping to have broody hens next spring, so I wouldn’t be upset if she did go broody.
I’m not intentionally trying to disturb them while they are laying but I’ve been trying to check for eggs more often because some have gotten broken when I was waiting till everyone was done.

My thoughts too-RIR aren’t usually broody. But I’ve seen several posts on BYC of broody Leghorns, and other production (non-broody) pullets/hens, so it happens! We have 2 RIR at 16 weeks, And these are our first RIR, so will be interested to see how they develop.
 

Chris-n-Kate

Songster
Mar 13, 2019
128
314
162
I agree with @DobieLover that she could be starting broodiness, with the growling the most distinct here. However, could be “moodiness” too or an adjustment to laying hormones. We have an SLW from a Feb 2018 hatch. When she started to lay and until winter she was a moody/grouchy chicken, especially on the nest. Wow! She would puff up, bite your hand, and make noise (can’t remember if growling). She was never broody...just grouchy. She has since settled and is perfectly fine, of course it helps that she is one of the top 2 hens, and does not take sass from any flock members. We have a BA from same hatch and she went broody only 2 months after beginning to lay, and has been broody 4x so far (and raised 3 batches of adopted chicks).

Watch for her sitting on the nest for any extended period, or trance-like behavior on the nest. Since she is puffing up and growling, could very well be early broodiness.

She does sit for a long time when she lays, usually more then an hour, sometimes coming out with no egg laid then going back again for another hour or so before she lays one.
 

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