Bully chickens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LizGled628, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Hello,

    I have five chickens, who have always gotten along smashingly until last week. Four of them are suddenly ganging up on one of the RIR, pecking her and attacking her until she lays down. If I isolate her, she wigs out and makes all sorts of noise for hours, and she always seems to want to hang with the other girls. They free range all day, and are only closed into their (very roomy) coop/run at night, when they put themselves to roost. I've checked her all over for signs of injury or disease, but other than one blood spot she got when I caught the others pecking her (I cleaned it and there are no signs of it anymore), she seems unharmed.

    ANy ideas as to what brought this on, and what I can do to stop it?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Hi LizGled628:

    Wow, this is odd. I've heard of one hen getting bossy, but not four against one? Unless, of course, something is
    wrong with her.

    You did the right thing by removing her to check and see if she exhibits any unusual symptoms.

    Do you have a plastic spray bottle? I've used that to "shrpritz" a chicken that is being mean.

    The other thing you may try is to stand over the other chickens, both hands around them and hold them on the ground
    for a minute or two, showing them you are in charge. It may temper their aggressive behavior.

    Sometimes chickens actually get jealous. Are you giving the RIR more attention? Or, is there a significant age difference? Did
    you get this RIR recently? Is she new?

    Whenever I get new chickens I always get two at the time at least. Then they are not alone, although you said they
    used to get along.

    Not sure of your community or laws, but you might consider getting two more and see what happens.

    Just some thoughts.

    Geri
     
  3. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    99
    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Hello,

    Thanks for the advice! She's not new, the five hens were raised together since hatching. Always gotten along well, and I've never had any issues. I just had to go out and clear out another scuffle, it seems the other chickens go after her each time they get the chance! And our yard is huge, so they have to go out of their way to find her! They all get pretty equal attention, so I don't think it's jealously.

    I'm so confused [​IMG] I just hope this is a passing thing and I won't have to keep her separated indefinitely.
     
  4. 9farmgirl9

    9farmgirl9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2011
    Jasper, Mo
    Hi,
    This happened to my flock of RIR, 24 total, There was this one hen idk why they chose her there wasn't anything wrong with her, but any time they saw her they would chase her peck her rip her feathers, even thr roos were mean to her. I still don't know what was up but i kept her to herself for a couple days, yes she did go crazy but i had her in with my chicks- in a smallish cage she would peck my chicks. But i put her out a couple days later and the boss hen--she's mean to everyone roos, chicks, guineas, ducks--pecked her and Everything was fine. The they were mean to was CRAZY though she always insisted being with them even though they were mean---They riped part of her comb off, and theyd gang up on her. Still don't know what it was.
     
  5. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    99
    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    The poor thing! I'm glad it resolved itself for you. Luckily, it hasn't gotten too violent yet, but they seem to go after the back of her neck. She's a glutton for punishment, she keeps going back for more [​IMG] I don't have any roosters, and although there is one hen who "rules the roost", they all seem to go after her on their own.


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