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Easter Egger Aggression?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by harldane, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. harldane

    harldane In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Sunny So. California
    I've read that Easter Eggers are sweet and gentle, which our 23 wk. pullet normally is, but over the last couple of weeks, she's gotten a mean streak too, biting at our hand when we reach into her portable coop to change/add water or food.

    Is this normal or is she mad at us?

    We did the following about 3 weeks ago:

    1. Removed the RIR rooster that she grew up with (she only sees him sparingly now as he crows a lot when he's outside - we're looking to re-home him as we can't have roosters);
    2. Added 2 RIR chicks to our flock to replace the roo (they're now about 11 wks old);
    3. Made her and the chicks sleep outside in their coop (we'd been bringing her inside each night to sleep in a dog crate as the coop wasn't finished);
    4. Made her and the chicks stay in their coop more of the time instead of free ranging in the backyard (we went on vacation for 5 days and had my father come over to check on them).

    She also makes a velaciraptor-sounding noise a lot in the coop and when I carry her from one place to another. And...last week she stopped chasing the chicks around the coop as much, though she's definitely the queen bee.

    Now today, she drew blood on my hubby's hand when he reached in to change the water dish. He pushed her away and he said she came running back at him.

    While she hasn't started laying yet, I'm pretty certain that she's a pullet and not an aggressive roo. Her tail feathers aren't feathery like our other roo and she's smaller - and doesn't crow either. I'm at work and don't have a recent picture here.

    These are our first chickens and I'm befuddled as to what we're doing wrong. [​IMG]

  2. Badhbh

    Badhbh Songster

    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    She almost acts broody??
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Unfortunately EEs can't be defined as sweet, gentle, or anything else. Because they are mutts, their characteristics differ from one bird to the next. I have one that is sweet, but she's the only one I've had that's been like that. I had 2 mean roos, and I have 2 now that are skittish and flighty.
  4. harldane

    harldane In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Sunny So. California
    As an update, I just spoke to a woman tonight that took 2 of the other EE chicks that hatched with ours - a kindergarten class experiment.

    She said that one of her pullet's combs had recently grown and the other pullet had just started attacking her comb and waddles so much they had to be separated. Now, just the other day, the attacked pullet layed her first egg. Our EE's comb has grown quite a bit recently too.

    When I got home tonight and I noticed Alice, the EE, was a little "hunkered down" with her wings slightly out - kinda like she was squatting. Then she just walked away. A few minutes later, my husband wanted to see if she'd go after me too so I reached down to pick her up and she again hunkered down, almost like a mating stance I've seen on animal shows.

    After what the other woman said, I'm wondering if she's just got major hormones going on right now and she's going to start laying soon?

    Badhbh, do they get broody before they first start laying?

    Thanks again!
  5. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    I'm thinking she's got a bad case of Chicken PMS! [​IMG]
    She's had a lot of changes recently which is unsettling to pea brained birds. Hopefully she'll be able to get into a routine and calm down somewhat.
    And yes, your EE is getting ready to lay.
    Suggest to your husband he bring some treats to the girls next time he's in the coop; this will keep them busy while he works.

  6. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Songster

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    my ee has been doing the same thing! she has turned into quite the little bugger but mine is 7 months old and not one egg yet! grrr i feel your pain! [​IMG]
  7. Badhbh

    Badhbh Songster

    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I don't know if they can get broody before laying, but I wouldn't think so. :| It does sound LIKE it though, and could very well be hormones?
  8. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Chicken PMS?
  9. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Oh yeah, that is chicken PMS alright! [​IMG]
  10. harldane

    harldane In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    Sunny So. California
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I put our RIR roo outside this afternoon to get some fresh air and scratching time and Alice came right over to say "Hello! Where have you been hiding?"

    I barely blinked before he jumped on top of her....so the pheromones must be oozing right now. [​IMG] The poor girl squawked and I shooed him away, but he was dancing around following her like a love-struck puppy until he got too boisterous and started showing his affections by crowing.

    We're putting the nesting box together tonight and adding a golf ball or two.

    Fingers crossed we start to have fresh eggs in a few days (and my hubby can stop crumbling about "that darn chicken"). [​IMG]

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