Grumpy and broody chickens caused by duckling?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wokawidget, May 25, 2010.

  1. Wokawidget

    Wokawidget Songster

    Jul 7, 2009
    My RIR, Marans and Bantam Cochin were all fine and laying 5-6 eggs / week each.
    3 weeks ago I got a 2 week old runner duckling to keep my Campbell duck happy.

    Within 2 days the Cochin had stopped laying, yet all she wanted to do was be in the nest box.
    She's been in there for 3 weeks now.
    I take her out in the morning for a few hrs and the same on an evening where she drinks and eats....but she won't come out of her own accord and I have to shut the coop when I take her out so she can't run straight back in.
    I collect the eggs that are laid almost immediately so it's not as if she has any amount of time sat on the Marans or RIR eggs.
    When I take her out the coup she just walked up and down the garden and around the coup clucking to herself....and every 5 mins goes back tot he coup to see if it's open.
    When she sees me opening the door she does a full on sprint to get back to the nest box where she knows there are no eggs.
    When she's on the nest box god forbid anyone who puts their hand in there...she goes from the tamest friendliest chicken to a killer.
    I am assuming she's broody...but I've tried everything to prevent it [​IMG]

    The RIR has decided that she wants privacy...she won't let any other chickens in the coup while she's laying. She chases the Marans and Cochin out with a few well directed pecks and squawking....the 2 chickens then stand at the door way until the RIR has laid.
    The coup has essentially 3 nest boxes, but they ALL want to lay in one specific one.

    The RIR seems scared of my new duckling.
    If it gets too close or runs towards her she puts her chest on the floor, head stright out, fluffs all her feathers out so she looks like a pocupine...then lets out an almighty blood curdling scream. It reminds me of a velociraptor from Jurassic Park...but it's all bark and no bite...if the ducking gets closer she backs away from it. If it gets TOO close she pecks the duckling...who then comes running back to me.
    She won't eat with the duckling either. She stands a few feet away muttering to herself.

    The Marans now has empathy?!!!
    The small Bantam Cochin is bottom of the chicken pecking order and yet has started to peck my Campbell and simply wants to kill my duckling. I won't let them be together just yet unsupervised.
    When eaither the RIR or Cochin show signs of aggression to the duckling they get a quick dunk in the pond as punishment.
    They don't like this and squawk like mad...the Marans comes running over and stands by them and helps them clean their feathers and seems to be acting very affectionately to the soggy chicken.

    The Marans also now wants in to the house every night...she cries at the door to be let in.
    Can't work out if she wants to be near duckling...or doesn't want to be in the coup with the other two chickens due to their grizzleyness.

    All of this happened the day I introduced my new duckling.

    Anyone else had this?

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Sounds like the new addition may have been the catalyst for shaking things up in the pecking order. It would have happened anyway most likely. The pecking order is always being modified each day. The pace at which it changes seems to accelerate in the spring, though.
  3. Wokawidget

    Wokawidget Songster

    Jul 7, 2009
    The pecking order hasn't changed, nor have I seen any evidence to suggest that a weaker member is trying to climb the ladder. They all know their place.

    RIR is above Marans and Bantam Cochin
    Marans is above Bantam Cochin and Campbell duck
    Bantam Cochin is above Campbell duck
    Campbell duck is above RIR...this I don't get :s
    All of them are top over new Runner duckling

    It's almost a circular pecking order.
    Not sure why the RIR is below the Campbell since she is top alpha chicken and the other two chickens don't stand for the Campbells nonsense.

    This pecking order has been the same since day 1 when they were young.

    It's just that since introducing the new duckling they have started doing different things, like being grumpy in the coup.


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