Bossy hen...possible problem?

buzz2978

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
7
1
9
I recently got 9 chickens from my dad. A couple of white leghorns and a golden comet with the other 6 being various crosses of leghorn, silkie and barnyard mixes. We have them for eggs and pest control and we are happy with what we have...mostly...

The comet hen, who I believe is the mother of the young rooster and a hen I have, is a real nasty bird. She will chase all the other birds except the leghorn rooster and hen (king and queen) away from the food. She will spend an hour keeping the 6 younger hens out of the food without eating herself!

If they are outside and I toss them treats or they find some spilt birdseed etc, she will push the rest out even pecking and screeching at the rest of the flock. She is the second in charge and seems to be the "muscle" of the group and I am worried she is stressing the young birds. Should she go back to my dad's? I mentioned culling her and he lost it...he really loves his chickens and has not eaten a single bird in over 5 years of birds...hawks, owls, weasels and other critters keep his flock to under 30+/- most of the time. He told me to bring her back if she is a problem.

Should I let nature take its course and hope a younger hen fights back? Or should she get chicken lockup (dog kennel) for a day or two until she starts behaving? Any input would be helpful, thanks!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
If you separate her for a week or two in a dog crate that will take her down in the pecking order but maybe only temporarily. Personally I would try pinless peepers on her. They are chicken blinders. I have not used them myself but if culling isn't an option, that may save the rest of the flock from stress.

It is NOT acceptable for her to be blocking the feed pan for an hour.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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This really doens't seem too out of line with dominant hen behavior. She's not hurting anyone from what you say. In the animal world, subordinate animals are pretty willing to accept the dominant animal's orders. If you want to keep her, put out an extra feeder and waterer, far enough apart she can't block both of them. Or, if she's stressing you out, simply give her back. Keeping birds is supposed to be enjoyable, not stressful.
 

buzz2978

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
7
1
9
So after 3 days in forced living and eating together in the coop she has calmed down and everyone ran free yesterday for a couple hours as a reward. I think she was just extra vigilant because of the three new birds. My dad also told me she was near the bottom of the flock at his house...so maybe she just needed some time to settle down.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
So after 3 days in forced living and eating together in the coop she has calmed down and everyone ran free yesterday for a couple hours as a reward. I think she was just extra vigilant because of the three new birds. My dad also told me she was near the bottom of the flock at his house...so maybe she just needed some time to settle down.
Oh good!!
 

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