Anti-social chicken

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Songster
Jan 15, 2012
136
170
176
KZN, South Africa
I have a little white Bantam. She's an awesome broody but once her chicks get to a certain size (not age,size), she gets fed up and becomes a bully towards them. This usually coincides with her beginning to lay again. Current babies are full size chicks and they are 8 weeks old or so. She's being chasing them for the last week and she's now preventing them from going to the food or water bowls - more than 1 of each.

She also doesn't get along with any other adult chickens. She fights with them all - male or female.

So now she's in isolation. She can hear and see the others but not get to them. She has her own shady spot with her own food and water. I don't want to keep her alone and she really would prefer to free range permanently but we have hawks and kites around and eagles in a few months time. Any other suggestions?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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First, it's normal for a broody to wean her chicks between five and ten weeks. Yours falls right inside the norm.

It's possible you do have a hen that prefers to live just outside the flock social order. Just as with people, some chickens aren't all that keen on joining in the group dynamic. I have such a hen.

This hen of mine is a three-year old Cream Legbar/EE mix. She doesn't follow any of the flock rules, including molting, which she will often postpone for a year and do it in summer rather than fall. She also bullies all the others when confined to the run.

Each morning when I bring their food out to them, she's at the door of the run to be let outside. She putters around while I clean the coops, and then is ready to go back inside and eat when I finish. She also asks to be let outside during the day to let off steam. She also lets me know when she needs to go back inside to lay her egg, which she blasts out in 60 seconds and is asking to be let out again.

Yes, there is an increased risk she will get picked off by a hawk, but she's survived a direct hawk attack already and lost only her back feathers for a year. (Until she decided to molt) This tells me she has the instincts to survive.
 

PTA Chicks

Songster
Jan 15, 2012
136
170
176
KZN, South Africa
She's been in her own enclosed space for 24hrs now. She's so much happier. She has dirt and grass and a small tree in her spot as well as her own food and water. And she's just chilled. So maybe this is just her preference. If she goes out to visit the others she fights them through the fences and there's always blood and ripped combs.
 

PTA Chicks

Songster
Jan 15, 2012
136
170
176
KZN, South Africa
Did she set, hatch, and raise chicks with the flock?
No She came to me sitting on an egg. After that egg had hatched and grown a bit,I tried to integrate the 2 but she kept picking fights with everyone. By then her baby was 12 weeks old and she didn't want anything to do with him. He's happy in the flock,she went broody again so I left her to raise another clutch of babies.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
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No She came to me sitting on an egg. After that egg had hatched and grown a bit,I tried to integrate the 2 but she kept picking fights with everyone. By then her baby was 12 weeks old and she didn't want anything to do with him. He's happy in the flock,she went broody again so I left her to raise another clutch of babies.
Ah, so she's never been integrated into the flock...
...that would be why she's 'anti-social'.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
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Sounds like she's just a natural loner so I wouldn't push her to be with others if she doesn't want it. Even with social/flock animals, not all of them want to be with their own kind. She may be happier spending time with humans, or maybe just having other chickens in sight is enough for her.
 
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