Hen attacked other hens..need help please!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by savingpurple, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have taken the advice of another member and am trying "time out" for a week to see if she loses her pecking order status. Here is where she is right now....

    [​IMG]

    Some questions...

    She attacked 2 hens this morning. No blood thank goodness, but enough that they are terrified of her! She has never been this brutal before. I don't know chickens well, but I didn't think they would just out of the blue attack each other and call that pecking order which alot of folks locally keep telling me it is. So...do you think it is just pecking order?

    Second, I have recently seen them all just eating as if they have been starved, their own feathers. I have recently changed from Grower/starter crumble to layer pellet. Could a change in food have an impact on a chickens behavior?

    Next, could they not be eating enough of the pellet due to not liking it, that it is making them more stressed and may be causing this reaction of my hen?

    I hate to send her to freezer camp, if it is something very simple to fix. Should I try going back to the crumble (layer), and see what happens? should I keep her in isolation if I do switch back?

    So many changes all at once may cause more harm than good??? Please Help !!! Thanks....
     
  2. Kitty Cat

    Kitty Cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Campos De La Gracia
    It does sound like pecking order and if you're just switching their food I'm assuming that they're rather young, they do that. Chickens are rather brutal when it comes to pecking order. My grown hens eat their own feathers that have fallen to the ground, I'm assuming it's normal because they all do it and I have several different batches of chickens. They may be a little stressed and agitated because they prefer the crumbles but I find crumbles wasteful, what I do is wet the pellets to see if they will eat them. If they gobble it up then they're just being picky in which case I don't feed them for a day and when I put the pellets in they have no problem eating them and usually they don't have a problem after. I find my chickens pretty tolerant to change however some changes can cause a lack of laying for a few days but they go right back to it with no problems.
    Hope this helped!
    Good Luck!!
     
  3. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2011
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    So should I keep ms pissy in isolation? Or assume this is just pecking order and put her back. She really is a sweet hen to me, but only after a suggestion from another member to gently, but firmly, push down on her back to show her who's in charge ! LOL It worked, because when I walk up, she crouches right down. She let me pick her right up to take her up to the garage. If only she knew it was "time out" she was willingly submitting too:) LOL She lets me rub her comb, and looks so sad not being with her other leghorn sleeping buddy. I am a sucker for a sad face....

    just so confused.
     
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are they? The layer has less protein.Feathers are protein and sometimes they will eat them for that reason but not always.It could be just pecking order....has there been any new additions? If we know the age it may be much more helpful..
     
  5. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are 16 weeks tomorrow. This is not the 1st incident with this hen. She is sweet as pie to the other white leghorn as they were room mates in a crate while the two healed, seperated from the others by a piece of hardware cloth, then introduced and all seemed fine, untill the coop intorduction. She has been getting more aggressive. It has only been at food, and the night roost. Until today. Out of the blue, she just grabbed onto the comb, and shook violently, then got the waddle, and did the same, as the other hen screammed. I was out there, and yelled at her, and it stopped it in the coop, but she ran out the door, and almost jumped onto another hen ,and started pecking her face. She started screaming. So I locked up Ms. pissy in the coop, and dug out my old dog crate, and made a nice comfy isolation home.

    Now what? Normal behavoir? I am so confused....so lost as to what to do now?????
     
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would keep her separated for a week like suggested then....and then see what happens...she may just be one of those types that is aggressive [​IMG] Let us know how the separation goes and the re-introduction...
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    My grouchy/picky hens get hen peepers when they try bullying the other girls around. Maybe someone will post a picture of peepers in action.

    The peepers prevent the hens from seeing forward, they can still find feed to eat and are able to drink. They just can't see the other hen to pick her !
     
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Hen peepers are the answer to hens that are overly aggressive to their pen mates..........
     

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