Have you ever had hens kill each other?

Noellereagan

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
746
1,640
222
Big Bend, Wisconsin
I had my whole flock almost kill one of my hens. Fudge, my little BB Red hen was sick so we had to put her in a separate cage for almost a month. When she was better, she wanted to set. So I let her and she raised I think 6 chicks. I put her in with the flock and they started to attack her. It's a good thing I had the cage unlocked. I ran in there and saved her. She has a few scares but now she is one of the main hens. She beat one up at a time. It's like they forgot her. I don't know why. I had her in the same coop where they could see her. Everybody is fine right now but the are a little edge cause of the winter weather.
Beat one up at a time... gotta love her strategy and sheer will! They will do that when pulled from the flock for as little as one day sometimes. That’s why they say to stop a bully the best thing you can do is to isolate him for a few days and return him to the flock. He is now at the bottom of the pecking order and has to earn his position back. So they don’t forget I don’t think. They’re just low rank until they care re-prove they’re still a hard ass :) flock dynamics are kinda like middle school girls all forced into one small room after they have gotten pms. It’s funny, but true. Hens can be bit?$y and roosters, arrogant and super rapey. I enjoy watching them and trying to predict what they’re thinking/ their next move. Usually I’m half right a fraction of the time.
 

Ralph Obrien

In the Brooder
Aug 19, 2017
10
10
45
Some times this is done for the salt in the blood Yes salt pigeon will do this if they don't get salt at time's . I had a bad case of hens eat the tail of my roast one time so I put a small dish of salt in the pen . Only a few hens would eat the salt the rest did not want it . And NO I did not lose any birds to the salt . They stop eating the tail of my roast the same day .​
 

Ms Clucky

Songster
Jan 22, 2019
689
1,734
181
Salem, Illinois
My Blindie hen, the one that loves to sniggle with me and suck on my hair, fights the other hens for my affection. It is crazy how mean she can be just be the only one in my arms. She sits on my boot and pecks my leg until I pick her up.
 

Debbi H

Songster
Jun 2, 2017
68
104
111
Sonoma County, CA
Wow! I've never had any of mine fight to the death. But I did see a couple of my girls that I would call "sisters" (because they are the same age and breed brought up together) fighting and jumping at each other like roosters today! Luckily it only lasted a few seconds. I think they were fighting over the same handful of scratch I had just tossed to them.
I sure know about pecking order. You can see my little bantam rooster, Doodle, on my shoulder in my pic. He is now almost 5 years old. About 7 months ago, I got a half dozen Brahma chicks to add to the flock. One turned out to be a rooster. He is HUGE. He tried asserting some authority with Doodle, and Doodle got a little beat up and bloodied for a couple weeks. I was even trying to rehome the big rooster. But NOW, Doodle chases "Sampson" all over the place and Sampson runs away. Doodle told him who was boss, and thank goodness, Sampson agreed. (Bantams are tough little birds!)
 

susanbari

Chirping
Dec 9, 2015
2
11
53
I thought one of my 4 hens was taken by a hawk, heard some squawking and ran out to find my maran huddling in a corner of the yard with a handful of her feathers a couple feet away and my wellsummer gone! 2 days later she reappeared in the front yard wanting to go home to her back yard (I guess she just flew over the fence and got lost). When the amerucana saw her, she attacked her viciously (picture a full-on cockfight). I had to break it up. Then when my brahma saw her the same thing happened. I broke that up and later that day all was well again as if she just got "punished" for leaving the flock for 2 days!
 

jspeese

Chirping
Apr 26, 2019
117
278
81
I had an interesting discovery yesterday, something I've never seen in my seven years of chicken raising. I walked out of the coop into the pasture yesterday morning. Found one hen dead, with no visible injuries. Another lying three feet away, barely able to walk, with blood on top of her head.

The predator deaths I've had show signs of struggle (feathers everywhere). It seems a hawk would have eaten the birds, or finished off the surviving one. I've had deaths due to injury or accident, but in this instance there were two hens in close proximity to each other. The more I thought about it, I wondered if they were casualties of a particularly serious fight.

The flock is all Rhode Island Reds, 2-3 years old. They fight a little, and pick feathers out of each other, like a lot of hens do. So, Backyard Chickens Community, does it sound like these two might have had a battle to the death?
I'm not a big fan of hybrids; red sex links like ISA browns have been inbred so much for max. egg production that they essentially burn out after 2 years. However, I do like the black sex links. I'm guessing they haven't been as intensively bred for egg production - at the expensive of general hardiness, natural instincts, disease resistance, etc. - like some strains of red sex links have.
 
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