Bossy Hen in Nesting Boxes

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Grandmas Hens, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Grandmas Hens

    Grandmas Hens Hatching

    Oct 9, 2013
    I am just new again at "henning" as I call it, our hens are just 28 weeks old. We always had chickens on the farm as a young girl but I never paid attention to the ins and outs of raising them, collecting the eggs was the fun part.
    We have 19 hens total, 6 leghorn, 6 Plymouth barred and 7 Columbian. I am getting 14 eggs on average a day, recently one of my leg horns stopped laying, also one of the leg horns is being quite bossy, she runs from nesting box to nesting box pecking at any hen who dares sit, she gets right in under them. WHY is this happening? WHAT can I do to stop it?
  2. TNchickies

    TNchickies Chirping

    Oct 7, 2013
    she is most likely at the top of the pecking order, and thinks she is big and bad. I don't think there is much to do except separate her for a week or two. that might teach her how the flock works without her. if you do choose to separate her, keep her within view of the flock, so she won't become lonely. hope this helps! [​IMG]
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    X2. She's just asserting her dominance.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
  5. Grandmas Hens

    Grandmas Hens Hatching

    Oct 9, 2013
    Thanks, I have put a red dot on her back to see if she continues the behaviour, I was worried that it would affect the egg laying of the others.
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Usually it is best to let the flock settle issues as much as possible otherwise you'll create a new problem while you solve the old one.

    However, you are right to worry. Being constantly hassled out of a nesting box will cause less dominant hens to look elsewhere to lay leading you on an Easter egg hunt. And stress can interrupt their laying cycles causing poor production.

    So if this one hen is causing that much distress, move the bad girl out so she can chill out. This may settle her down. Or, you may have some issues reintroducing her if she tries to claw her way to the top of the pecking order again. Or another dominant hen may haze watch when you reintroduce and be prepared to place a divider or give somebody a time out again.

    Also, watch your flock when you remove your dominant hen (the bad girl). It will cause a shuffling in the pecking order that can take up to a week to settle, so expect to see some minor squabbles with the others as they figure things out.

    IMHO, if I have a hen that is just a nasty...she goes elsewhere and off my property. (Usually best to hit the soup pot as no one else will want to deal with her.)

    Or find a really good roo... a good roo will settle the squabbles between the dominant ladies and help keep peace in the flock (without becoming a nasty problem himself).

    Lady of McCamley

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