Fighting Hen

LuckyClucky434

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
7
0
7
I am in need of some advice.

About 9 months ago I got "rescue" group of 8 mixed breed hens (Silkie, Leghorn and crosses of both) The issue I am having is with one of the 8 rescue hens. 7 of them have integrated flawlessly into my flock of chickens. I have a mixed purebred flock including polish, silkie, white and brown leghorns,orloffs, marans, orps, bramha, turken, cochin, australorp and a few other breeds. I have 3 roos - a cochin, a bramha, and a turken. I have about 75 birds total with another 20 chicks in the house.

My whole flock is free range on a large 200 acre farm though they usually stick to the barn yard and surrounding area. The inside space is 24x30. They have the whole barn to come and go from as they please (small hole in the wall of the barn). Feed and water is available 24/7 and I give daily treats. Chickens put themselves to bed.

The hen I have having issues with attacks the other chickens (hen or rooster) as soon as she sees them. She has and will draw blood on any of the birds. I am sure she would kill them or at the very least severely injure them. She attacks ANY bird not just a certain color, feather type or appearance. She is for sure a hen, as she lays 1 egg a day. She currently lives in a dog kennel/run where she can hear and talk to the other chickens but cant see them. If she can see them she will run/pace and jump at the bars to try and grab the other chickens.
I have tried placing her in the coop at night while everyone is sleeping. At dawn she was running my other girls all over the place/jumping them.
I originally tried placing the 7 in a dog kennel in the coop and she was the only one that had issues.
I have tried totally segregating her where she cant hear/talk/see the other birds but she goes totally depressed and stops eating.

She is between 2-3 years of age now going by what previous owner said and how long I have had her. Lays 1 egg a day, not broodie. She can see and hear.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
I take it culling is not an option for you, otherwise with such severe behavioral issues you would have already culled?

I'm sorry to have no hope to offer you, but animals can develop severe mental health issues just like we can and she sounds like a basket case.

If her quality of life depends on her being able to deprive others of their quality of life or even life altogether, then she needs to go. Whether you cull by killing her or cull by rehoming her, I don't know what you can do with such terrible aggression.

If she breeds, she will most likely produce more of the same.

Best wishes.
 

LuckyClucky434

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
7
0
7
Culling is not an option for this hen unfortunately.
If it was totally up to me, I would have culled her. Critters - even the roos - have to get along!
The problem is I got them from an elderly woman who could no longer care for them, and they are all "pet tame/huggable". She visits a few times a month :(
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,616
26,804
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
You are not obligated to continue with this nasty biddy for the rest of her natural life. I understand that the elderly lady was attached to her chickens, and it would be upsetting to her to have one of her "pets" culled. However, I very much doubt that she would have allowed this evil hen to attack the rest of her flock in her own yard. You took them to do her a favor, and you have given it your best shot. But now this hen is holding you and the rest of your flock captive... at least emotionally. That's not a healthy place to be. Enough is enough. You can re-home, give her back, let the lady find a new home for her, or invite her to dinner.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,342
26,954
982
On the MN prairie.
I agree with Lazy Gardener. You took these chickens as a favor to her, that doesn't mean you are obligated to keep the mean one. If you invite this hen to dinner, you can always just say " she died since your last visit" and let it go at that.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
Free range on 200 acres? Free range birds disappear all the time.....

If you really want to keep her, try something like pinless peepers. But in all honesty, I'd just have her vanish.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,905
655
296
Australia
Culling is not an option for this hen unfortunately.
If it was totally up to me, I would have culled her. Critters - even the roos - have to get along!
The problem is I got them from an elderly woman who could no longer care for them, and they are all "pet tame/huggable". She visits a few times a month :(
I am sorry to hear of your situation. Are you agisting/boarding them, or do you 'own' them? If so, you have rights, though they may make you an enemy. I have the same rules as you, the animals have to get along, no bullies on my place. Every single animal has a right to quality of life.

If she gets depressed when she can't deal with the others, too bad, since she presents a threat to her own safety trying to get to them when she can see them. You don't have a lot of options there. She sounds fully psychotic. :/

Best wishes.

You are not obligated to continue with this nasty biddy for the rest of her natural life. I understand that the elderly lady was attached to her chickens, and it would be upsetting to her to have one of her "pets" culled. However, I very much doubt that she would have allowed this evil hen to attack the rest of her flock in her own yard. You took them to do her a favor, and you have given it your best shot. But now this hen is holding you and the rest of your flock captive... at least emotionally. That's not a healthy place to be. Enough is enough. You can re-home, give her back, let the lady find a new home for her, or invite her to dinner.
X2! And the bit I bolded --- have you asked the old lady how she dealt with this bird's nastiness?

And bobbi-j and donrae, those are very good points, made me LOL. Not excessively ethical but neither is preserving a rabid bully at the expense of every other animal on the place, as well as the people who have to deal with it.

Best wishes.
 

LuckyClucky434

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
7
0
7
Thought I would update everyone on this hen....I ended up culling her and saying she must have been caught by a predator. She had started biting me..in one way I don't blame her - I would bite too being locked in a dog kennel - but in another, if she was half decent she could have been loose.

The lady was a bit upset, but not overly so.
 
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