Hen aggressive to newcomer

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by portwes, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. portwes

    portwes New Egg

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    Sep 30, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi, I'm new to this site/forum, and the subject is probably more useful in the early and mid-summer, than in early fall, but it may be useful to someone.

    I lost one of my 3 hens to illness in early summer, so a friend gave me two pullets, which I added to my little flock. The 2-yr-old Araucana was (and is) very mean to one of the new hens, a VERY timid black hen (not sure of the breed), who just showed a lot of fear to her. This just made her MORE aggressive!

    I tried googling "aggressive hen" and found a few different tips in curing this problem. (I would never clip a hen's beak to solve the problem, though!)

    So I tried isolating the mean hen, then I tried isolating the new hens, tried being the "alpha" hen myself and humiliating the Araucana, but nothing worked.

    So I thought, if I can stop her ability to run and chase the black one, maybe that will help. So I very loosely wrapped a plastic zip-tie around each of her legs, then connected those two legs together with a very loose zip tie. And viola, it solved the problem.

    Now, before any of you get really upset that I am being cruel, be assured, virtually the ONLY thing it has done is slow her down. She can walk, and walk very fast, but she can't run any more and chase other hens. She can fly and get up to the roost fine. She seems completely happy and used to the mild handicap, and she is laying every day. I have tried removing the leg bands a few times, but every time I do, she immediately goes back to pecking and injuring the black hen.

    Anyway, it seems to be a workable solution to the problem, but if anyone else has a method that works, please let me know!
     
  2. shareneh

    shareneh Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2008
    North Dakota
    I have the same problem with one of my red sex link hens. She has been picking the rear end off my Jumbo Cornish Rock and I had to seperate the Rock from the rest of the flock.

    I don't know what chickens think and I really love my Rock so I guess she will have to be a lone chicken for now.

    I suppose once they get into the habit of biting they aren't going to stop on our account. We are the ones who have to adapt if we don't want to get rid of one or the other.
     

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