australorp hen being a bully

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Critter Mom, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2015
    Chesapeake, VA
    My 4 girls shipped as day-olds together and have been together constantly since (about 18 months). The aggression issues have been escalating for about 6 weeks and she recently plucked a large patch of another hen's back bare. There are no new stressors, there is ample food and water, they have tons of space (64sq feet outdoor and 24sq ft indoor for 4 birds), we have seen no evidence of a predator nearby. I'm stumped as to why this hen is now bullying the other girls and what I can do to stop her before she really hurts someone.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    What are you feeding them? She could be getting protein deficit this late in the season and with birds molting. Upping her protein to a 18-20% ration, and feeding some higher protein snacks like cottage cheese or scrambled eggs can help.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not sure I'd call that 'tons' of space...but not too bad.
    Is the run a bare blank space or are there things for a variety of 'enrichment'?

    Are they molting?

    Might want to isolate the bully bird for a a wire crate right in coop and /or run.
    Lock her up for a few hours, or more, give the others some relief.
  4. Bennett Farms

    Bennett Farms Just Hatched

    Jul 28, 2016
    I am having the same issue with a maran and americana. Arya (maran) is chasing and bullying Gilley ( americana ). They came from the same flock. They have been together this whole time. Now that they are going out into the run Arya has started show aggressive behavior toward Gilley. How do i correct that before she trys to hurt the other chicken
  5. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    They don't call it a pecking order for nothing, chickens can be "brutal".
    You cant really "correct" the dominant hen.
    Only thing you can do is relieve the stress somehow, which normally means giving them more space to get away from each other.
    Or get rid of the dominant hen and hope for the best when the pecking order gets re-established.

    I also agree that an 8x8 run is not really a lot of room, especially of they do not get to "free-range" at all.

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