Help with jealous hen

Hanathehappyhen

Songster
Jan 2, 2018
280
529
207
Nicasio CA
Last year one of my chickens died of cancer, and for a while after her death her best friend was flockless, with just humans for company. I’ve had her since she was a chick and she is the friendliest chicken I’ve ever had. I decided to get her 3 chicks as friends to hopefully raise up since she was broody at the time. Long story short she was NOT interested in them, it’s been several months, and while she’ll tolerate them most of the time , they’re nowhere close to the best buds I’d hoped theyd become.
The main problems happen during feeding time. I feed them separately, but she’ll spend HOURS guarding their food and water and not letting them touch a single drop, even when she isn’t interested herself. Same goes for cuddles. I’ll hold one and she’ll come up and beak it as hard as she can.
When she’s not attacking them she seems to almost want to be friends with them but they understandably run away from her. This is the longest it has ever taken me to introduce new chickens in and I’ve got know clue what to do.
They’ve been free ranging in the orchard with plenty of room to avoid each other. Should I stick them all in the coop until they can get along? Or will letting them work it out be better? I’m also worried for her because they are catching up in size quickly, and soon will be able to easily gang up on her.
Any advice is helpful. Thanks!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
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Someone has to be Boss - she's just asserting the power of her position. Feed and water in multiple locations far enough apart that she is unable to guard all of them. Locking them in close quarters may result in injury. Just allow them to work things out as it does not sound as if blood is being drawn.
 

Hanathehappyhen

Songster
Jan 2, 2018
280
529
207
Nicasio CA
Someone has to be Boss - she's just asserting the power of her position. Feed and water in multiple locations far enough apart that she is unable to guard all of them. Locking them in close quarters may result in injury. Just allow them to work things out as it does not sound as if blood is being drawn.
Ok. Thank you! She hasn’t been able to get anything more than a few feathers.
 

Hanathehappyhen

Songster
Jan 2, 2018
280
529
207
Nicasio CA
Make sure they have enough space. Also, make sure you don’t see any blood. But I agree, when the chicks are smaller the bigger hens tend to pick on them. They should do just fine! 😁❤️🐔
Thank you! She’s doing a lot better now. She’s picked one of them to be her “best friend” and does everything with her. The other ones she still pecks but not as viciously.
 

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