Are my HENS trying to mate? PIC

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ZaneyMama, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. ZaneyMama

    ZaneyMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    I have 9 hens who just turned a year old. One barred Rock has started pinning another to the ground and pecking her head so hard she has pulled out half the feathers and made her bloody a few times.

    Today, I witnessed a RIR HEN doing this:


    What in the heck are my chickens doing? All of them came over and started pecking the bottom one's head in the 30 seconds this happened.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. piccolini

    piccolini Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2009
    Camino, CA
    This is a dominance thing- part of the pecking order. My hens (And dogs) do this too
  3. Zinnia-Hen

    Zinnia-Hen Live & Let Live

    Jan 29, 2011
    I'm pretty sure she's just showing who's the boss. Even though it looks pretty racy... [​IMG]
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I've seen it too. It's annoying!
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If you don't have a roo, sometimes a hen will sort of take over the role, acting like she's mating, which is what that looks like. Often they will also "crow," only they can't crow, so it is a weird, weird sound. I had one who did this until my roo matured, then she went back to acting like the rest of the hens. I've read that a hen who does this may also stop laying. I never knew whether mine was laying or not.

    If it gets to be too much abuse on your hens, just isolate her for several days, then put her back with the flock, and she will then be at the bottom of the pecking order.
  6. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    I would not put up with it. That is bullying and if allowed to continue, that poor hen will be killed. Once there is blood drawn, all of the others will peck at her. Definitely segregate the bully. I have a crippled hen and she is just one of the girls in my flock. I have on three occasions slapped a bully off of the roost who was packing her as she just cowered down. Each time, I turned off the lights of the coop so as to force the bully to spend the night on the floor. It seemed to stop it because after that 3rd time with the same bully, it never happened again. I never see any bullying out in their run either. I do see an occasional squabble over a treat that both parties try to get at the same time. That is normal. Overall I have a happy and productive and congenial flock. It could just be beginners luck too.

    Gerry [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  7. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    I have one hen who does that also! I actually just posted about it thinking I had a confused girl LOL. It is dominance, as others have stated. I usually go chase my "bully" off the subordinent (spelling?) hens. I iusually give her a swat on the butt lol, or I will pick her up and carry her around the yard for a while. She is a Barred Rock and literally mounts my Black Australorp and Black Copper Maran.

    There has been no blood on my end yet, and if there is blood I would seperate. BUT if there is no blood and you seperate it could make the problem worse, they do have to work out the pecking order by themselves at some point. But if it is a dangerous situation then I would definately isolate the bully.

    I had another hen who was REALLY mean to the others, she went to a new home with a crapload of roosters. [​IMG] I won't deal with the CONSTANT aggresion, even if it is a hen. My Barred Rock's dominance flares occasionally, but the Wyandotte I rehomed, it was a constant battle lol.
  8. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    Asserting dominance. I've seen one of my girls do that too after we got rid of the rooster.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  9. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    I would think that if a hen does that, then you might as well have a roo and get fertile It seems to me that, roo or no roo, you'll have a very dominant chicken that is capable of bullying the others? I didn't want to have a roo (one of my girls turned into one [​IMG]) but I think I would rather have him then one of the girls doing this. [​IMG]

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