Antisocial Chicken but Top of the Pecking Order?

SkeeterBaGaw

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
11
1
26
I have an antisocial chicken and, as a first time "chicken mom", I'm not sure if this is something to be concerned about. The hen's a red sex-link and she seems to be top of the pecking order. She always gets the best roosting spot, is the first to gobble up the layer feed, and seems to do her fair share of bullying when other hens come close to her. When all of the other hens come over to me for chicken treats, she stays far away. She wants nothing to do with the other hens, and certainly wants nothing to do with humans! Even with a bag of live crickets and mealworms (which made the other hens go bonkers with excitement), she turned her beak at me and walked to the other side of the run. When she is in the chicken tractor, she walks to the opposite end of where all the other hens are digging and eating. When another hen comes close to her, she pecks at them and they take off running. She is antisocial and clearly does not want to have anything to do with the other hens... but I cannot understand why! It baffles me that she is so antisocial that she won't partake in a feast of live crickets and worms, even though all of the other chickens are clearly enjoying their treats. Is she just so mean that she's ostracized herself? Or does she just not like treats, friends, people, social time, etc? She truly seems to live in her own world! Any advice would be helpful. She is in good health, is laying strong, and eats plenty...she's just antisocial.
 

earlybird10842

Good Morning!
7 Years
Did you get these hens from chicks? If not, this hen probably had a different relationship with humans than the others, and is as a result less social. This doesn't sound abnormal, we had a hen that was the queen of the roost for several years and she was among our less social hens, although nowhere near the level of non-social-ness yours seems to be.
 

SkeeterBaGaw

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
11
1
26
I did get all of my girls between the ages of 6 months - 8 months. The three red comets all came from the same farm, where they seemed to all interact happily with humans. In fact, I even watched the chicken-in-question approach her former human owners when I went out to the farm to see them for the first time. Now I have three red comets and two out of the three are always the first ones to approach me when I go into their run to bring treats. The third, which is the one at the top of the pecking order, simply walks the other direction. Even when I toss treats across the run to her, she doesn't even appear to be interested! Baffling...
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,620
22,733
912
Colorado Rockies
One thing for certain is that there are as many different chicken personalities as there are chickens. The more I get to know my chickens, the more I see how different each one is. And as different as they are, they can also change, sometimes in the extreme.

I have a couple that have gone from being shy and lacking in self confidence to being almost the exact opposite. I have a GLW hen who has always had a wicked temper, go from top of the pecking order when she was also top bully, to being demoted to the one now being chased and bullied.

The most touching has been two SLW hens who have never wanted to have a thing to do with me in their five years of life since I got them as baby chicks, to being constant beggars of my hugs and affection now.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason for these personality changes has been the fact that I'm extremely present in the lives of my chickens. I would love to see a study done on the effects of human interaction on flock dynamics.

I have a strong hunch your antisocial hen will most likely be very different some day than she is now.
 

SkeeterBaGaw

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
11
1
26
One thing for certain is that there are as many different chicken personalities as there are chickens. The more I get to know my chickens, the more I see how different each one is. And as different as they are, they can also change, sometimes in the extreme.

I have a couple that have gone from being shy and lacking in self confidence to being almost the exact opposite. I have a GLW hen who has always had a wicked temper, go from top of the pecking order when she was also top bully, to being demoted to the one now being chased and bullied.

The most touching has been two SLW hens who have never wanted to have a thing to do with me in their five years of life since I got them as baby chicks, to being constant beggars of my hugs and affection now.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason for these personality changes has been the fact that I'm extremely present in the lives of my chickens. I would love to see a study done on the effects of human interaction on flock dynamics.

I have a strong hunch your antisocial hen will most likely be very different some day than she is now.
Thank you for the reply! That is fascinating to hear that one of your hens that was top of the pecking order ended up being demoted! And very encouraging that some of the anti-human chickens ended up wanting your affection! I suppose that the long story short is that chicken personalities are malleable and dynamic. I think you're spot on with your point that having a human interact with chickens daily will certainly have a big affect on the chickens' personalities. I am starting to see more of that the longer I have my flock of hens. I am always in their run, feeding them, walking around and free ranging with them, etc. The bully chicken is still a bully, but is definitely more mild mannered when I am around now. It's as if she waits for me to leave to start bullying the other hens. At least that's a step in (hopefully) the right direction. She has even approached me several times to grab some grapes out my hand. I'm just going to keep working on her and hope that her aggression subsides over time. :)
 
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