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Hen being aggressive

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shaunta4401, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. shaunta4401

    shaunta4401 New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Hi everyone!

    Here's our issue!:

    We have had two hens buff and barred rock for 16 months. They get along great, however the barred rock is clearly the leader. We introduced 4 pullets around May and they did great. There were an occasional chase or peck here and there, but nothing to fuss over. We started to have some problems with them roosting in our barn at night and not laying their eggs in the coop. Yes, they are free range chickens (they have about 2 acres to roam). So, we decided to purchase a bigger coop and confine them to a smaller area in hopes that they would build a routine of roosting in the coop at night and laying in their nesting boxes. We have a total of 7 chickens, 5 hens should be laying. We get maybe one egg a day and we've just started getting one pullet egg this past week. On top of the decrease in egg production our barred rock has become terribly aggressive with the other chickens! She's constantly making them submit, pecking, etc! She really gets after all of them when it comes to roosting in the coop! It's just terrible! We're wondering if she isn't the reason the 4 other hens have had a decline in egg production because of stress! So, we've thought about separating her or just removing her permanently.

    Any suggestions? We're new at this, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. [​IMG]

    We are also concerned that once we let them free range again, they'll just lay there eggs in random spots again. What do you do when this continues to happen? Thank you!
     
  2. shaunta4401

    shaunta4401 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Aug 18, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Any feedback would be appreciated! Thank you!
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,262
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    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    How big is your coop? Seven birds at five sq. ft. per bird minimum; Roosts high enough; dark private nest boxes. Any change or other stress will put hens off laying. Some birds are just more aggressive, you can try moving the BR problem girl to separate digs for a week or two, and see if she is more polite when reintroduced to the flock. Or you could move her on to the pot or another flock elsewhere. Mary
     
  4. shaunta4401

    shaunta4401 New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Hi Mary!

    Thank you for your help! Our coop is quite large for our 7 hens. Here's a picture if it. We placed a new roost that is like a leaning ladder so they are higher and have more space away from each other. I also put up nesting box curtains to give them more privacy while in their nesting box. Are your nesting boxes quite large? I feel like ours might be a tad too small. Do you think that matters?
    Thank you!
    Shauntá
     

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