Broody chicken lose their position in the pack?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gwen, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Gwen

    Gwen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Langley, Washington
    When a chicken goes broody, do they lose their place in the pecking order?

    I have a buff orp that was broody for a long time. Throughout the entire time, she always was in with the other chickens, slept in with them (altho usually in one of the nests), and was never away from the rest of the flock.

    We finally broke her of it and the other day I noticed that there was a LOT of squabbling going on that involved her. Then last night and tonight, she was not in the coop. She must have spent last night in the bushes somewhere.

    Tonight when I went out to lock the coop, there was another chicken standing on top of the door into the coop. The buff was nowhere to be seen. Do you think the other chicken was guarding the entrance so the buff couldn't come in?

    How do I get them to work this out because I don't want to keep locking the buff out of the coop? Last night we left the coop unlocked. Today she was out and about in the run (yesterday also) and no squabbling was going on. I figured they had worked things out after I saw them getting along yesterday but maybe not.

    Any ideas?
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have had two broodies this year thus far. One was in the coop the whole time and the other was removed a few days before her eggs were due to hatch.

    The first one - - - the one in the coop - - was my ALPHA hen. There wasn't too much picking when she completed the broody cycle.

    My second broody, has had issues being reintroduced. Her best buddies have taken to trying to neck slam her. With her, we are only letting her be with the flock for 30 min - 1 hour at a time. It is done while they are free ranging in the evenings. My flock is caged for most of the day and then I let them free range while I change waters and feeders and clean poop. Then everybody returns to the clean coop / run for the night.

    My second hen is supervised by Dh while I am working in the coop / run areas. If the bossy / bully hens try to mess with her, they get picked up or shooed away. This is working well. Everytime the flock gets together, there is less bullying attempts.

    I do have a section in the cage that I keep birds separated from the flock and yet part of the flock. It is a fenced off area, so it is like a pen in the pen. I will move my broody and hen chick in to this section when the chick gets a little bigger. This should help with the reintroduction too.
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Sometimes a broody can move up in the ranking, especially if she's the only broody. Going broody gives the hen the instinct to fight to protect her chicks, and that can intimidate the other birds with lasting effect.

    All of our three hens raised clutches of chicks this spring, and after they finished that job, the pecking order got rearranged. The top hen is now the lowest ranking, and with no. 2 and 3 moving up ahead of her. Go figure.
  4. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
    My little dog knows where she is in the chicken pecking order. My first broody hen hatched out 5 chicks, four of which lived. While my daughter and I were approaching the hen and chicks, to put them in a seperate area until the chicks get a little bigger, my little dacshund mix got a LEETLE bit too close. Momma hen jumped on her latched on and rode that dog around while she yelped and backed up/ fell down/ freaked out.... [​IMG]
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yep, they usually have to take a new spot closer to the bottom, in my experience. After two broody periods, my Buff Orp, Nugget, is now being beaten up by my banty Cochin, Shadow. Nugs just can't catch a break in the flock anymore.
  6. Rohnasmom

    Rohnasmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bradford County .Pa.
    My broody is totally goofy, she is even attacking me! But when she gets off the nest and goes out with the other girls they whoop on her ferociously, I stop them but its very sad. Shes a nice girl and the others have never shown aggression. Like a previous poster said...even the bantys are beating on her and she is a full size RIR
  7. Gwen

    Gwen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Langley, Washington
    GAchick - LOL, that must have been a sight to see!

    So what should I do? Should I pick her up and make her sleep in the coop at night? Actually, she may be the one causing some of the trouble. I've seen her fly at some of the others. Before the buffs were always the meekest. Even tho no eggs hatched, I guess she now thinks she's special?

    I have to say, she was so pretty while broody. She was always all fluffed up and really looked good!
  8. jesskoot

    jesskoot Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    Central VA
    When I reintroduced my Barred Rock to the others, they were on her like crazy, would't share treats, kept her away while they were eating, etc. It took about two weeks for her to be fully accepted back into the group and now all is well - she's actually hanging out now with the dominate hen and shows more interest and enthusiasm when I'm in the run, etc than she did before she went broody. I guess that week in isolation gave her time to think about what life has to offer!
  9. Gwen

    Gwen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Langley, Washington
    Thanks, that gives me hope.
  10. Gwen

    Gwen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Langley, Washington
    Well, we figured out where she was going at night! She was up in the roosting area. LOL None of our chickens has ever gone up there. They prefer to huddle around the door opening. Jim went out to close up last night and she was peering down from the rafters so he saw her. So all is well. I only noticed the fighting two days last week so that appears to be over. Yay!

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