Fighting hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by welovechickens, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    My bantam (Baby) has decided she wants to be second-in-command over my Ameraucana. Only problem is, Biddy (Ameraucana) doesn't think much of the idea.

    Baby will walk up to Biddy (usually while Biddy is dirt-bathing) and give her a peck on the head. Biddy then jumps up and will start fighting with Baby, and usually by that point I have it stopped.

    At first I thought it would be best to let them "fight it out" to re-establish the pecking order and get it over with. But Baby is so tiny, I am worried Biddy will really hurt her. Biddy will jump on top of Baby, and today Baby ended up with a bloody nostril, earlobe, and wattle from Biddy's beak! Baby even bit me today as I was separating them! (of course Baby's bites aren't very hard because she's so small.)

    I heard it's better to not keep bantams with regular-size chickens. But these 3 ladies have been raised together since we brought them home as 2-day-old chicks! Is there anything I can do to discourage the fighting? It was so bad this evening, we had to put Baby in a cage inside the big cage to keep her and Biddy separated. [​IMG]

    Should I try squirting them with water anytime they start fighting? I really don't want to get rid of any of them, but I suppose I will find another home for Baby if I HAVE to. She is so sweet and tame I hate to do it though. [​IMG] She still hasn't laid an egg since she went broody 3 weeks ago.....could this be due to her hormones being messed up? I miss her dainty little white eggs. [​IMG]

    Sorry for the extended novel. But does anyone have ideas for me?

    Thanks!
     
  2. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    Could be hormones I would think (after all they're females....guys, you did not read this...), related to her being broody? Could be other changes in the flock.....they may have been fine together as youngsters but I think that could change once they mature. You did the right thing by separating them. Once they draw blood you should keep them apart to let the injured one heal. I am not sure if they will be OK once you reintroduce them ( I would do that slowly....separate with wire/fencing/a crate...so they can see each other but not hurt each other before you let them together. Check to make sure they don't fight....If that does not work you may have to make arrangements for housing them or rehoming.....Not the expert with chickens but the best iea I can come up with....Let's hope the more experienced folks will post! [​IMG] I only have standard chickens, so I don't know if this is a common problem between bantam and standard sizes...[​IMG]
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Sounds like she might still be hormonal if she hasn't started laying again. How big of a coop and run do they have? Is there any way to separate Baby out for a while, so they are still visible, but she can't get to them? Lots of people keep bantams and standards together without a problem.
     
  4. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    Thanks, their coop/sleeping area is about 3'x9', and the always-attached run is 6'x6'. So a very nice size for 3 chickens, I think.

    There was never any fighting until Baby tried going broody and we forced her off the nest by making it disappear. It's like a switch flipped in her brain. She used to be the most docile little creature with the other 2 chickens! In fact Biddy was her best friend!

    *sigh* chickens....what would we do without them? [​IMG] LOL
     
  5. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    Forgot to answer the rest of your question, yes, I can separate Baby from the others easily. It made me so sad to go out last night and see her sitting all by herself, sleeping. [​IMG] She always snuggles in with the other 2! I'd bring her inside with me, but I'm not up for having a house chicken and all the attention required for that undertaking! LOL
     

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