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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fhlstables, Mar 6, 2008.
I have a question.
Will a chicken attack another of their flock while free ranging?
Usually chickens will peck on each other and maybe fight but once a pecking order is established, they calm down and know when to back down.
Roosters can fight over hens and territory, but once they figure out who is alpha, fights don't happen again till someone wants to take over. Ego's run high in the top, and unless he gets injured or some how sick, nobody will challenge them.
My leghorn just started last week with this kind of behavior - they're 9 months old and have gotten along reasonably well - there's been the pecking order stuff, but this is more aggressive.
The leghorn will give the Ameraucana a hard look and then dive at her and grab her by the neck feathers. The Ameraucana just squeaks and runs away as fast as she can (she's the lowest on the pecking order).
At first I put the leghorn in "detention" but it didn't seem to do any good, and the Ameraucana would stand close to the window of the coop until the leghorn was released, so I just let them work it out on their own. Fortunately, this behavior has abated.
I have a buff Orpinton that just started doing that as well, she attacks and the lower girl runs away and then they end up side by side fluffy bums up in the air eating together five minutes later. It goes on from time to time through out the day but usually only when they are in the run, if they are out in the yard there are no issues like that.
I have had 3 chickens killed in one day in broad daylite. I am sure this was done by a dog who came in our yard. Well now another chicken has gone missing.
What made me wonder about the hen is that she was roosting with her right foot just covered in the other hen's feathers. I've never seen the hen that got attacked again.