HELP! Aggressive hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suburban farm girl, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. suburban farm girl

    suburban farm girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    129
    Nov 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Yesterday I introduced a new hen (34 weeks) to our group of 9 pullets (various breeds, 16 and 18 weeks old, none laying yet).

    I believe the new hen is a red star - I get confused about all the red sex link variations and names.

    At first it seemed there was just some pecking order stuff going on, but this new hen totally terrorized my others ! I didn't see any blood, but feathers were flying (none of them the new hen's), pullets were crying and all of my original girls were very upset and nervous. The last straw for me was when I went out around dusk last night and saw one of my young ones flying/climbing up the cyclone fence that protects the run with the new hen on her, pecking and hurting her.

    I made the new hen sleep in the enclosed run area, and secured the others in the coop.

    I decided to give it another try again this morning. Same thing. The hen pecks aggressively at the others for no apparent reason, even chasing them around the run. I have separated her from the others, but don't know what to do.

    Is this behavior likely to continue? The hen was raised with a large group of other chickens. She was not like this when we met and chose her. She is very friendly with us, likes to be held and petted. In her former home she was just one of the group, not the aggressive terror she has become with us.

    Is there any hope of creating good relations between her and my other 9? If so, how ??
     
  2. suburban farm girl

    suburban farm girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    0
    129
    Nov 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Well, the aggressiveness may have been solved. I thought I had read that putting a new chicken in the coop at night for an easy intro was a wive's tale, but we were desperate and gave it a try.

    Things were pretty calm this morning, and though no one is falling over the new girl as their best friend, there are no feathers flying and everyone is tolerating each other - a little skittish around the edges, but OK overall.
     

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