Flock of 3 hens, one and a half years old, one hen got REALLY mean to other hens, not to humans

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by familycruz, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. familycruz

    familycruz New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Hello! We got 3 Golden Comets as pullets in March of 2012. They are strictly for eggs and as pets.

    The lightest colored hen has gotten SO MEAN to the other two. She gets on top of them and almost looks like a rooster that is mating.There is a lot of awful noise from the other hen. What I find odd is the aggressor is the shyest one in general. For instance, if I have to catch the hens for some reason, the others run around until I can get right over them and catch them. Blanche (that's the aggressors name...Blanche, lol) freezes as soon as I get near her. There is another chicken (Matilda) that I have always considered "the boss" but Blanche picks on her now, too.

    Will she get along with the other chickens again? They have a fairly large coop with a run, and they are let out to roam the yard usually about 10 a.m. and stay out until dark. Thanks!
     
  2. Chrysolinsbirds

    Chrysolinsbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She'd taking over the empty rooster roll.. If your allowed where you live I would recommend getting your girls a rooster, he would break up hen fights and play the dominant roll, also great for free ranging for early warnings and finding and sharing juicy tidbits. =) good luck
     
  3. familycruz

    familycruz New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Thanks for your response Chrysolinsbirds!
    Ugh.... I really can't get a rooster. I only have an acre and #1- I am a light sleeper and #2- my next door neighbor is a grouchy old woman who called code enforcement because my chickens got in her property. If she complained about the rooster crowing I'm afraid she would have a legitimate complaint, plus I get along well with all my other neighbors, don't want to annoy anyone.
    Darn, I hope there is another solution.
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree. When hens take over the rooster role, they can be more aggressive than a rooster would be. When she jumps on another hen's back, she is simulating mating as a way to enforce her dominant role.

    I don't think you should worry about it, or get a rooster. She's behaving naturally, doing what chickens do in chicken society. If she draws blood, then you have a problem. Otherwise, no blood, no foul.
     
  5. familycruz

    familycruz New Egg

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    Thanks Walkingonsunshine. Yeah, if this is as bad as it gets, it's tolerable. If it gets any worse... well, I don't know. I feel bad for the other chickens! I will hope it doesn't get worse. Thanks again.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Any time, and welcome to BYC!
     
  7. Chrysolinsbirds

    Chrysolinsbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If a rooster isn't an option maybe you could separate her from them during the day for a week or so.. If that doesn't help maybe take her to visit a rooster, I have a super aggressive hen, she would crow and carry on and be very harsh with the other hen in her coop, but for the last 3months she has had a rooster it has made such a difference in her if didn't know any better I would think she's a different chicken. Good luck =)
     
  8. familycruz

    familycruz New Egg

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    Thank you WalkingOnSunshine!!

    Chrysolinsbirds - I was wondering about that... Maybe letting her out of the coop first thing in the morning til about noon, then catching her, putting her back in and letting the other two out.

    I also have a friend who took in a rooster that I found on a busy street. You think Blanche should go visit him? Is a day enough, or should I leave her a week?
    Thanks again.
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think that taking her to visit a rooster will do you any good. A flock is designed to have an alpha roo to function smoothly. If you don't have one, a hen may step in to fill the spot. Taking her to visit a rooster and bringing her back won't do much good for the flock as a whole, because there is a power vacuum at the top. I think you'll either have to fill that power vacuum, i.e. get a full-time flock rooster, or deal with the way the hens have settled the power dynamic to suit themselves.

    You can try putting her in solitary for a week, (or take her to visit that rooster, I suppose) then reintroducing her. When she comes back, she'll have to fight for her place in the flock again. Either it will put her in her place, or she'll be extra aggressive to get back to her previous spot. Might work, might make her worse.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  10. familycruz

    familycruz New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Thanks WoS, I will probably leave it as it is unless the aggression escalates.
     

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