Help!! One mean hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jriekeman, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. jriekeman

    jriekeman New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2011
    Hi Everyone,

    I am at my wits end and about ready to make chicken noodle soup with one of my hens.

    I was (unfortunately) gifted 2 baby chicks back in late March and I have been trying to get them acquainted with my 4 other layers. 3 of them don't have a care in the world about the new pair of hens but 1 is just torturing them. She's ripped half of the comb off of one new hen and constantly grabs them by the neck and drags them around.

    Ive tried side by side pens so they can see and interact with each other for over 2 weeks, I took the mean hen out for about a week to try and get her lowered on the pecking order. I've added the new hens in the coop at night to see if that works. Every time I try to reintroduce them she instantly runs them down attacks draws blood and I have to step in within a couple hours before she kills them. I've started noticing that after I step in she starts in on the other 3 chickens that live with her.


    Any other ideas before my hubby gets his soul would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd get rid of the bad actor. Just as some roosters are overly aggressive, it sounds as if your hen has some of those genes, too. If she's bullying the entire flock, not just the newbies, AND she keeps it up even after she's been removed from the flock for a week, then I'd rehome her or eat her, personally. Your flock will be happier and lay better without her.

    If you're adamantly opposed to rehoming or eating her, you can try searching for "pinless peepers." Many places sell them, and I think you can get small quantities on eBay. They work by stopping the hen from seeing the end of her beak so she can't see well enough to pinch. They may or may not work on this bird, which sounds like a terror.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How much space do you have? If you've got a good ten feet per bird, I'd say get rid of her. If it's less, it's probably her stress reaction from overcrowding and you need to either have less birds or more space.
     
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  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, very good point. I hadn't thought of the space issue. jriekeman, how big is your coop and run?
     
  5. jriekeman

    jriekeman New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2011
    Sorry for not getting back to y'all sooner had a family emergency that took precedence.


    I have 4 hens in a run that is 20 feet wide and about 40 feet long. The new hens are in a temporary run that is attached to side of the main run. I've had more 4 hens in the main run before I cut back last winter so I wouldn't think space would be an issue now
     
  6. jriekeman

    jriekeman New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2011
    Coop is an 8 by 10 modified storage building and they have access to the run at all time.
     

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