Having some real behavior issues.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bird-brain, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2012
    North GA
    I'm starting to have some severe behavioral issues with my flocks. It's totally my fault. It's being corrected but I would like some opinions. For reference all birds are large fowl except one silkie roo.

    I had an established flock of 2 SF Roos, six SF hens one polish hen and one silkie roo all 1 1/2 years old.

    We decided we wanted to try some different breeds adding some color to the flock and the egg and I acquired 4 APA Ameraucanas two Dan Powell GLBs and two OEs which are Ameraucana roo x Bev Davis BCM lines. They are six months old now. I also have a younger 5 month old flock of SFs. The mixed batch and the mature birds shared space at night and the baby SFs had a separate coop. All free range together during the day. After the recent incidents, I have switched the mixed flock and the babies around.

    It was all fun and games, no trouble at all. There WAS the one little mishap where the olive egger roo got into the baby coop and killed two young roosters. Unfortunate but we fixed the faulty latch and it was all good.

    Then my lap pet silkie became an ankle biter. Not the worst thing in the world, but weird.

    I gave away 3 of my mature SF hens and one of the SF Roosters (guy and his wife both out of work, really needed the eggs now so I let go of the mature birds). Now, all of a sudden my OE Roo and one of my Ameraucana Roos is gang banging my poor little polish hen. I mean that literally. I have had to hunt this hen every evening for a week because she was not coming in at night. I finally caught them, one would help hold her down for the other to mate with her and then they would switch. She was in a tangle of briars that I had to hack my way through so I got quite an eyeful while trying to get to her. Once done with their mating, they were intent on killing her. It was brutal and she was a bloody mess. I broke up the attempted murder and have the hen sequestered. The Roos showed no aggression toward me when I shoved them away.

    These guys bother no one except this hen and none else gives the hen any trouble. She shows no sign of illness (and I'm pretty good at spotting early illness in my birds as I know they tend to hide it) so I'm not sure why she has been singled out. Sure she's docile but not nearly as much as the SF hens. The Roos don't fight amongst themselves at all.

    I know that mating can get aggressive but I had no idea that two Roos would work together in this way. Their obvious intent was to kill this hen, not to mate. It was just a sadistic act and I have never seen birds behave that way.

    Today, my OE hen lost her mind and started attacking my brahma roo and my youngest birds. Beak open flat out chasing them down to fight. She was as vicious as the Roos were two days before. The rest are pretty normal except that no one is laying eggs which I totally understand now.

    So, what's up with the sadistic aggressive birds? I have separated the evil roosters from the flock and tomorrow will separate their heads from their bodies but I am curious if this behavior is common.

    My two SF Roos ruled together with gentle yet firm wings. They were a great team. Down to one, I get that the younger Roos are going to vie for position but like this?

    And is the younger hen aggressive now because three of the older hens have gone and why is she after the poor brahma boy? I really want the hen to calm her jets and be able to keep her so I'll keep an eye on her. I understand that as she matures she may shake up the pecking order a little but I don't understand her singling out the roosters to pick on. Is she is angry about being separated from the Charles Manson club? Can a hen be a groupie? Are there documented cases of demonic possession of chickens?

    As I said, I know how to fix this. My question is why?
     
  2. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chillin' With My Peeps

    129
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    83
    May 26, 2012
    North GA
    I can't edit for some reason but I wanted to add that I have too many Roos and I know that. Several pairings were being held back for some folks who have had issues getting coops built etc. They are officially out of time. the only roo to remain will be the brahma. That pair will have their own coop once the babies are gone.
     
  3. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    Wow that sounds like a nightmare, but you are being proactive and doing what you can. I had an issue of a single roo attacking my hens brutally, kind of like what you described. He would beat the crap out of them, mate, then continue the assault. Needless to say he has been culled with my other excess roos and is scheduled for execution this weekend, no appeal!
    Hopefully your flock will calm down after removing the problem birds. I know that too many roos causes all the other birds to lose their minds. I would still reintroduce the injured bird carefully under close supervision. Good luck
     

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