Bossy hens kicking Broodies out of nest

Lelilamom

Songster
8 Years
Feb 28, 2013
449
156
186
I have 3 broodies sitting on eggs and I have a very bossy Wyandotte that is beating up the broodies and chasing them out of their nests and then guarding the nests so no one can sit in them. I found one nest cold two mornings ago. What is going on? All three broodies were sitting on unfertilized eggs, one of them for 21 days when I realized it and obtained fertilized eggs and gave all the broodies viable eggs. Now they are all on fertile eggs and "starting over". The behavior from the bossy Wyandotte didn't start until I gave them all viable eggs.

Anyone have any idea what is going on? Does my Wyandotte not want the broodies to sit too long? Not want more hens in the coop? I can't imagine why the behavior.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,390
17,777
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Guesses I can come up with require the hen is doing some thinking of some sort where she thinks someone benefits from her actions. I cannot relate to chickens well enough to back that up. Then it falls to something simply like the hen has high testosterone levels making her aggressive. Roosters can have high testosterone levels, but they have other mechanisms the hen may not have that prevents them from disrupting nesting behavior. My roosters certainly have it going on, unless recently added to a group of hens where he will destroy nests.
 

Lelilamom

Songster
8 Years
Feb 28, 2013
449
156
186
Thank you both for your input. I moved my most experienced hen and her eggs to the "brooder" area of the coop - where we let hens raise chicks. She's secure and can't be hurt. The other two hens are still in their nesting boxes. Then I let everyone free range last night and Bossy Hen settled down. Today there is peace. And by Free Range I mean roam 5 acres instead of 1. Why do 30 chickens need more than 1 acre of unrestricted property? I don't know but now I know what to do if there is a scuffle again.

I'm guessing this reduced the stress on the hens trying to lay eggs and provided some change of scenery.
 

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