Barred Rock Hens, Bossy!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Trish44, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Trish44

    Trish44 Songster

    Jul 25, 2011
    Winfield, KS
    Does anybody have Barred Plymouth Rock hens & if so are yours aggressive? I've got 2 young ones that have not laid yet, they're getting close to age & they seem to be the bossiest hens ever, pecking & chasing the other hens & now they have killed one of my young guineas. Is this "normal" behavior for this breed? I have never had them before. I got them because they're supposed to be good layers, but if they don't settle down I'm going to have to get rid of them. Any ideas on how I can break them of being so mean?

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Barred Rock hens are not pushovers in a flock. Pecking order looks rough to us, but I'd not call it "mean". "Aggressive" to me means human-aggressive, not bossy in the flock.

    If they killed a guinea, it was probably very small. Are you sure they did it? Sometimes it can look that way, but they're just picking at the dead one they have access to. That said, ANY hen will kill chicks if she can get hold of them and she isn't already broody.

    I love Barred Rocks above all other breeds. They do establish their place in the flock...and it's not at the bottom of the pecking order most of the time.
  3. cluck-darth-peep

    cluck-darth-peep In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2011
    upper ohio
    Hi, I have a Barred Rock, grandson calls her Darth Vadar, she was black when born. Her name fits her personality. One day, I was tired of Darth being the mean queen of the flock. This sounds bad but I walked up to her and pulled a feather, as she does to the other chickens (RIR, Buff, Speckled Sussex. Darth was so shocked she just looked at me. 20 minutes later, Darth again went after another hen, so, I walked up to her and again pulled a feather. She yelled out and ran from me. The next day while they were again in the yard, Darth pulled another hens feather, only this time Darth seen me coming at her, she ran, I cornered her, pulled a feather and low and behold, she has not pulled one feather from another hen in the past 2 months. She will come to me, she will walk under my chair, but she lowers her head, as in a bow, to me. She has been calm, quiet, and knows, I am the head of their flock. Darth is now the middle hen, the Buff is the queen but she is calm and maintains the rest of the flock in a calm manner.
    Hope this helps.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    I have BR hens and really enjoy them. I have two different strains and it shows in their looks and in their temperament. Neither strain is mean, but one strain is pushy, especially when it comes to their roosting place and their right to eat first and often. If you want to see mean, that would be my RSL hens. Wow, the top 3 or 4 dominant RSL hens are mean!
    BRs mean? No. Not compared to others I've witnessed.
  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    My Barred Rocks are just the opposite. As chicks in a mixed brooder they are always the lowest in pecking order. My birds are so darn mellow and sweet. I just love them.
  6. Trish44

    Trish44 Songster

    Jul 25, 2011
    Winfield, KS
    Well thanks for your input & opinions. These two hens just seem to want to be on top for everything, both of them. They stare down my kittens & chase them when they get too curious & I have seen them chase one up a tree before. They also chase my 5 pound Yorkie when she gets too close. I do believe they did gang up on the poor little guinea & kill it, it was about a month old. I had to move them all into the chicken pen & coop after another raccoon attack the other night where I lost 4 of my guineas. I'm getting another pen to put up closer to the house hopefully this weekend, but in the meantime I was trying to make do with what I have & the hens aren't going for it. Today I let the hens out to free-range & left the guineas all in the run while they were out, they're not old enough to let loose yet. Tonight I had to partition off part of the coop to make a safe place for the guineas to roost without interference from the hens. It's a bad situation all the way around. I had planned to put out a trap for the coon tonight, but it's raining, so it will have to wait for another night. I hope I can catch that bugger, it has cost me a hen & now 4 guineas.
  7. debs_flock

    debs_flock Crowing

    Sep 14, 2011
    Shingle Springs, CA
    I've been trying to integrate a couple of younger pullets into my flock, my BR Molly pecks them bloody each time I try. I finally had to move all my birds around to change up the territory. She's currently cooling her heels in a shed while they try to gain confidence with my mellowest (a marans, a delaware & an australorp).


  8. flowerchicks

    flowerchicks Songster

    Aug 18, 2009
    n. california
    I have 9 hens, all are different breeds, my barred rock is one of my favorites! For the first year, she was definitely the "top hen". I had a silkie rooster that was afraid of her. He was MEAN and if he came after me (which he did a lot), she would go after HIM! Maybe th;)ey are just smarter and more personable than other chickens
  9. the3ofus+oursixchicks

    the3ofus+oursixchicks Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    i have 2 buff orpingtons and one barred rock hen. rosey my buff orpington is the queen she pecks petunia the barred rock not mean just to say hey im in charge here. petunia the barred rock is the middle woman she pecks at daisey the other buff orpington. rosey pecks at daisey too. i dont like any of the pecking but i understand it is part of the order of things with them. i get on to them. they arent mean to each other just keeping each other in check. but sometime daisey will peck at rosey to. daisey pecks me so she must think ok i need someone to peck they are all pecking me. but rosey will really show her dominance when it comes to bed time. so rosey pecks at petunia. petunia pecks at daisey and daisey pecks at me .[​IMG] i guess i am at the bottom of the pecking order ha ha. but rosey and petunia dont peck me thats why i say daisey must think i need someone to peck too yall. rosey is the most loving. she loves me,lets me hug and hold her,goes to sleep on me all the above i love her. petunia likes to be held to and loved on but mostly she would rather just lay in your lap. daisey was like rosey but a few weeks ago has become a tirant to me. she has left several bruises and even broke the skin one day [​IMG] i hope she gets back to her sweet self soon. she even tries to get after my feet like she is going to flog me or something. i love her anyway though. while hunting grasshoppers she is my shadow. she isnt mean all the time.she hasnt started laying yet so maybe thats her problem. rosey hasnt either. petunia did her first egg sunday!!!!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  10. FinsUp

    FinsUp Songster

    May 10, 2010
    lake oswego flats
    In our small flock of 6 hens, 2 pullets and a rooster (pullets and rooster were added 3 mo. ago, so he is not top) 1 of my BR is the queen hen. The other BR is the most mellow. Both BR are from the same place, just depends I guess. We also have 3 RSL and a Delaware.

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