Friendly chickens have suddenly turned aggressive.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tatuana, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Tatuana

    Tatuana Songster

    232
    540
    126
    Dec 30, 2018
    Utah
    My older chicks were born Jan 21st, the other ones are maybe two weeks younger. I've stopped hand feeding them treats due to them getting testy, but I've been handling them.

    They're really well behaved, except lately. They currently live in my garage with all the needed chicken stuff. I have tiny babies in a brooder in the corner of the garage, away from the older babies. During the day I let them out into the yard, but it's been too cold lately. Often times when they go out back they find my open sliding door and visit the kitchen for scraps. Shooing them back out later isn't hard.

    Since it's been too cold, and they were a little cramped due to arranging things in the garage, I let them into the house. They hug out in my living room, snoozing on the couch. I finished the changes in my garage (fencing off some areas I don't want them in that they got into), and since it's warm today I sent them back out back.

    Angry Baby made a straight line for my sliding door (I leave it open for the house rabbit) and his herd followed. They came straight in and pecked at each other for the couch. Angry Baby then fluffed up and started attacking Tallis (she's two weeks younger than him. Very timid). Everyone got all riled up and began pecking, with Angry Baby *really* aggressive. After about five minutes they all settled into a chair for bed.

    I tossed them all back outside once I was able to catch them. Angry Baby tried to come right back in, fluffy as can be. After the third time tossing his herd outside I finally shut the door on him and his herd. He sat and glared through the door all puffy.

    It took 20 minutes for him and his herd to shoo. He now perks up and watches when the door opens to see if he can come back in. They've gone to sleep out there for the time being.


    What gives? The only changes are to the garage, which they're fine with. The babies in the brooder are getting bigger. One of the changes was blocking off a section for them. The tiny babies kept leaving the brooder, or sitting on it to peep at the older ones. Angry Baby in return started shoving his way in to eat their food and drink their water. They're separate now. The older babies have been able to see tiny babies since day 1. The only other thing is that I've been letting them out into the yard. It's a LOT more room than they're used to. (They were squished in the garage until the changes) I DO have a cat that bothers them outside.

    They're also *obsessed* with the chair in my living room. They're fighting like it's a throne. Angry Baby runs around with his mouth open to attack.

    From what I can tell the pecking order isn't changing, they're just being testy.

    Is it just spring? The weather? Why the heck are they so obsessed with my chair? If one of them flaps their wings to run another baby attacks.


    Heck, someone just left the door open and they came running in again...


    Here is Angry Baby just now.



     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

    30,828
    38,202
    1,102
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    They are maturing. Next stage is moody teenagers. Chickens want what they want, so they will continue to come into your house until you break the habit.
     
    aart, ChickNanny13 and Kris5902 like this.
  3. Tatuana

    Tatuana Songster

    232
    540
    126
    Dec 30, 2018
    Utah
    So they're probably just sorting out their pecking order? I was worried they were overly stressed with the tiny babies being more active.

    Their weird chair obsession is kind of cute, but weird. I've taken up locking them outside and getting glared at. I'm learning that chicken brains are very, very odd.
     
    TashaFrancois and Kris5902 like this.
  4. Kris5902

    Kris5902 Crowing

    1,123
    2,954
    282
    Oct 12, 2018
    British Columbia, Canada
    How many do you have in each age group... and how many are males?
     
  5. TeenageRooster's Dad

    TeenageRooster's Dad Songster

    316
    847
    177
    Feb 8, 2018
    Wildomar, CA
    Do you have cats? Smell could be a trigger ;).. half joking, but kinda is for youngsters. My cat sometimes sleeps in the crate the babies also like to visit and they freak out a little if Larry the Main coon left his wiff few hours before.

    Also if CNN or MSNBC is on, that could also be a major trigger. Chicks love Tucker thought.

    IMG_0038.jpeg
     
  6. Tatuana

    Tatuana Songster

    232
    540
    126
    Dec 30, 2018
    Utah
    Honestly, when it comes to males, I've no idea. I've been told they're roosters, hens, that they're too young to tell, that they're the wrong breed... I figure when it crows I'll know. I still have no idea what Invi is.

    I have 3 babies in my oldest set, 3 in a batch about two weeks younger (They've been together since birth, all good friends). I just added 2 Polish, a Silkie, and an Americana that were each a week old. They're now two weeks old. And I have a one week old Silkie.

    So from oldest to youngest (batch) 3, 3, 4, 1

    Ohh yes, Demon Kitten likes to watch them to death. She also likes to chase them when they stop moving to make them move again. I'm training her, but it took me an entire year to get her to leave my cockatiel alone. She preferred to teach herself to strangle in her leash until I took it off, then zoom after him. (Yes, strangle. Choking sounds and all) And then she learned to sleep behind his cage and scare him. Last spring she spent three entire days staring at a mouse under the shed until it fled in terror. She does the same with spiders, snakes, birds. She has unusually good hearing.

    She doesn't hurt anything anymore, but she'll watch them real good. And chase them. That's very possibly adding to their stress. They won't peck her to scare her off. They're now terrified of cats, and attacking my house rabbit. My house rabbit is living under my bed in terror. Maybe I'll try locking her in a bedroom tomorrow and sending the babies out. If I can figure out a way to keep her from destroying it. (Her name is Socks, which changed to Socrates. She's .... Unusually smart. And focused. I was told she's part main coon, part Persian. She's a tiny so I don't think Coon.)

    Luckily I don't have TV, so no CNN to freak them out yet, ha! They do seem to like the sound of video games, though. Which (joking) may be adding to their Demon Attitude. My daughter plays violent stealth games and likes to win in unusual ways. I worry that someday the pets will pick up on it and take us out in our sleep.



    Also, I swear I heard Angry Baby crow today... He was fighting with Oogity Boogity in the other room, though. I don't think roosters crow when they fight. And he's WAY too young.
     
  7. TeenageRooster's Dad

    TeenageRooster's Dad Songster

    316
    847
    177
    Feb 8, 2018
    Wildomar, CA
    LOL Demon Kitten sounds a lot like my Liz who was a Calico/Persian mix, she would obsess about anything smaller than her with a heart beat and make sure we knew about it... she had her own little language too and wouldn't shut the heck up about it lol... Persian are wicked smart too in a very manipulative way :).. which makes them so hard to train, they'll act like "yea I get it" and go back to their ultimate goal really fast.

    So that could very well be part of it @Tatuana ... but as @oldhenlikesdogs mentioned, looks like they're getting into "teens" age, so that'll play in as well. I have 3 "teens" all born on jan 10th, minutes from each others and right now and they're challenging each constantly. Also I'm pretty sure the darker one with the lighter head who flew to the couch (Angry Baby?) is a lil' roo, just by his behavior. At that age, you should start seeing lil' spurs coming out, maybe 1/8". But then again, I've had a few hens with mini spurs so as frustrating as it is, gender ID is a dark art... at least for me :)

    Hope this helps :)
     
    TashaFrancois likes this.
  8. Kris5902

    Kris5902 Crowing

    1,123
    2,954
    282
    Oct 12, 2018
    British Columbia, Canada
    Angry baby sounds a bit boyish in behavior to me too... you will know when they crow, or start reacting to each other’s crows... hopefully you’ve got a bunch of little hens, but my luck has tended towards the males. Get them as much room and distractions as possible until your weather clears up... my first hatch was stuck inside until over 9 weeks old due to weather, and they started getting squirrelly as well.

    Clear boundaries and limits to where they can go... if you don’t want “house chickens” then don’t let them run rampant in there. My cats are with fine for me, but know they have my mother terrorized, stealing food from her plate, pawing her face to get breakfast in the morning. Refusing to eat the food she puts down. Give them an inch and they will try to take a mile.

    I suggest getting them outside ASAP! Chickens are mostly outside animals IMO. Hope it works out well for you!
     
    Ribh and TeenageRooster's Dad like this.
  9. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

    264
    589
    172
    Nov 5, 2018
    Birmingham UK
    Of the six chicks in the video, only one is male (the cuckoo one).
     
  10. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

    264
    589
    172
    Nov 5, 2018
    Birmingham UK
    Also as sweet and lovely as chickens may seem to be, never forget that they are descended from dinosaurs. ;)
     
    TeenageRooster's Dad likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: