Hello From San Diego, CA

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chickens619, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. chickens619

    chickens619 New Egg

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    We have 2 , 1 &1/2 year old hens that we've raised from chicks. They've been living in peace and harmony since the beginning. That has recently changed! Out of nowhere the boss of the 2, "Big Mama" decided to attack the other for no apparent reason. We have continually broken up the unprovoked , vicious attacks and separated the bully from the other, however she continues her behavior when we put them back together.
    They have sufficient space in their coop and are allowed many daily hours of free range time.
    I am afraid that "Big Mama" will kill the other. She does not back down and the other chicken is very timid and will not fight back.
    I've monitored them and have found no signs of sickness or disease in either hens.
    Any tips or advice as what to try next? I love these 2 chickens:) They have always been so sweet. They love to follow us around the yard
    and even jump up on our laps occasionally. I would love to FIX this new bizarre problem.
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Sometimes older hens just become aggressive for seemingly no reason. When that happens, unless you are willing to cull them, the only solution is put some pinless peepers for them. They prevent the hens from being able to see straight ahead to peck at the other hens. Surprisingly, using their peripheral vision, the hens still learn to drink and eat with them on. If you're not familiar with pinless peepers, you can see them at http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/pinless_peepers.html. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your hen.
     
  3. cheerfulchicken

    cheerfulchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] I too finally joined recently.
     
  4. chickens619

    chickens619 New Egg

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    Thanks for the advice! I had never heard of pinless peepers. I will give it a try.
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Please do keep the girls separated before Big Mama kills the docile one. She will do it unless something is done to prevent it. Can you divide the run and coop with a wire partition to keep them physically apart?

    You can try the pinless peepers but, in the meantime keep them apart. Is it possible you could keep the quiet one as a house pet? I know someone who has and there is a very active thread on BYC called "people with house chickens.)

    I'm sure the quiet one would bloom if she weren't being subjected to a big bully. AS for BIG, BAD Mama, if you won't rehome her - let her have the coop and run to herself. She deserves to be alone with no chicken to terrorize.

    I am sorry if I come off as being very strict but, chickens are a different breed of animal, it is not uncommon for them to kill and cannibalize others in the flock, sometimes even their own chicks.

    Have you checked the meany for lice, mites, worms etc. to see if something is aggravating her enough to cause the change in personality? Does she show any signs other than temperament, that might point to a physical problem.?
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Michael and Drumstick Diva X2 Keep the bully separated and you can try the pinless peepers route. I have a hen that was brutal when she was young and ripped combs, pulled out feathers, terrorized the other hens and even bit me! I have used pinless peepers on her for years. You have to leave them on for about a month the first time. Then you can take them off. When she goes back to being a bully, put them back on, and so on. My girl is 3 1/2 years old and she hasn't had to wear them this year yet. She has improved with age. But here she is at 6 month of age in her eye wear....

    [​IMG]
    They can see up, down and to the sides. But not directly in front of them to aim and fire off the beak. Takes a few hours to learn how to compensate for the change in seeing, but they quickly learn how to eat and drink just fine.

    Towel up the bird and lay her in your lap, head at your belly. Have someone hold her beak as you spread apart the plastic peepers. Make sure to get them centered in the nostrils, not too high, not too low, and don't grab any skin on the side of the nostril. She will try to scratch them off for the first 10 mins and of course give you the sad eyes, but don't fall for it!! LOL I did when I first put them on her. But there she was 10 mins later ripping somebodies comb. So back on they went!!

    So keep the bully caged for now and try the peepers. Good luck with her!
     
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good suggestions above, good luck with your girls.
     
  9. chickens619

    chickens619 New Egg

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Thank you again for all the great advice! I noticed this morning as I went out to check on my chickens that my "bully" chicken is fine until I approach their coop. That's when she begins her attack. If I watch them from the window, they are living peacefully. What could this mean?
     
  10. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You've received some good advice above.
     

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