Bossy hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smkchick, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. smkchick

    smkchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    I have a 18 week old black sex link hen who was a rescue and the sole hen for about a month. I have 3 chicks who I am slowly introducing, and added a 16 week old Rhode Island Red hen about a week ago. The two older hens were getting along fine because it was clear that the BSL was boss. Neither of the girls has started laying yet.

    Over the last couple of days, I've been putting the chicks in the run during the day while the bigger girls are out free-ranging in the yard. Before the girls go in for the night, the chicks are moved to a separate pen in the coop. This way the girls are getting used to the presence of the chicks while not being able to harrass them.

    I've noticed that the BSL has been especially bossy with the RIR. Not agressive, just bossy. She'll chase her away from an area, but then leave her alone. I was thinking I'd keep the chicks out of the mix until the two hens work things out.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  2. violetsky

    violetsky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Huntsville, Alabama
    How about add the RIR to the chick group first?
  3. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    If your BSL isn't being overly mean and pecking the RIR, I would let those two "work it out" first. That should take a couple of weeks. Mine still chase each other around a bit, it's how they "remind" the ones under them in pecking order who the boss is.

    How old are the chicks? If they are feathered out, they should be OK since the BSL and RIR are pretty young still, and are pullets. I wouldn't put them in there too young, they will get picked on and not get food. As long as you supervise, you should be fine. I think it's great you are taking the time to separate them and are thinking about what's best for them. Too many people toss them all together and end up with dead baby chicks. [​IMG]
  4. smkchick

    smkchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    Quote:The chicks are 4 weeks old and pretty close to fully feathered. I'll be home tomorrow, so I may put them all together for a little supervised free-range time to see how it goes. The first time I showed each chick to the BSL, she pecked one really hard. Maybe if she encounters all 3 together, she'll be a little less bossy?

    I read somewhere that hens can get cranky and/or aggressive right before they start laying. Or is that just wishful thinking??[​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by