Broody hens attacking flock member

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chick-habit, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2016
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    Our normally sweet Cochins have been broody for over a week. During most of the day we have them in broody breaking cages, they each have their own. We let them out twice a day to poop and eat (they have food and water in their cages too) yesterday our smallest broody hen starting attacking our biggest and nicest silkie hen (who is showing signs of getting ready to lay her first egg soon). Today the second broody hen attacked her as well. The fighting is intense and the smaller broody attacker could definitely be killed by the other hen trying to defend herself.
    Help!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  2. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2016
    los angeles, ca
    I'm toying with the idea of using the method of not letting them out of the broody cage for 3 days. I'm worried about this method because 3 days is a long time to go without pooping
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could be some pecking order stuff going on because of the broodies being caged...and the fact that the victim is about to start laying.
    Is the broody cage right in the coop and/or run?

    They won't wait 3 days to poop, they're just going to poop if they need to.
    I use a wire dog crate with smaller(1x2) wire in the bottom,
    raise it off the floor with a couple 4x4's and most the poop falls thru bottom of cage.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  4. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're in bird cages in an air conditioned studio. It's just way too hot in Los Angeles to leave them in cage in the run or coop. The poor hen they're attacking is our biggest but most submissive hen. I feel bad for her but I also know she's capable of killing the small hen that's attacking her. I hope when they snap out of their broodiness they'll stop fighting.
     
  5. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they have food and water, there is no reason to let them out until they break.

    Fighting, hard to say but sounds like there is some re-ordering going on. Plus broody hens are very protective, it might blow over once they break..

    Or just give them some fertile eggs to set!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Keeping them in AC for 3 days then putting them back out into the heat is not so good for them either.
    I'd find a more temperate place to keep them caged....or put cages near where the other birds hang out in the hottest weather.
    Keeping them in sight of the flock might alleviate what is basically re-integration aggression.
     
  7. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2016
    los angeles, ca
    Luckily when miss America snapped out of her broodiness there was a little bit of pecking and then everything was back to normal. I'm worried about keeping them in the bird cage outside because they wouldn't be able to defend themselves if something attacked them. I feel like our run is secure but I've learned with chickens you can never let your guard down and think everything is safe. Maybe in the months with nicer weather I can keep them in a cage locked in the coop. After losing 2 chickens to predators (we tried to eliminate the specific causes for each attack, I'm just totally paranoid about them. Like it keeps me up at night keeping my ears tuned for the possible sounds of predators [​IMG])
     

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