Hen bullies another, keeps her from laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LoriL, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. LoriL

    LoriL Chillin' With My Peeps

    My problem is with Marge in Charge (PBR), who keeps chasing/pecking at/following/harassing my other hen whenever she's trying to lay. Patty (Barnvelder, a bit of a loner) doesn't use the nesting box anymore, because Marge won't let her. We made another double-hole outdoor nesting box for them, but Marge won't let her use that one either. Patty lays 1-2 eggs in an out-of-the-way spot, before Marge finds it and chases her away from there, forcing her to find a new spot. My 3rd hen, Selma, is an 8 month old Orp that has yet to lay, hangs out with Marge, but does not participate in the hazing. I've also found several shell-less eggs on the coop floor, but not sure who they belonged to. My previous flock all layed in the nesting box, frequently sharing it, without any issues. What's going on here, and can I get these girls to work it out? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. chicken-herder

    chicken-herder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cape Town, South Africa
  3. LoriL

    LoriL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the suggestion, and link. Yes, it may be time to take Marge down a notch! I'm hoping while she's in detention, maybe Selma will start finally laying, too. Now to go get her cellblock ready for occupancy.[​IMG]
     
  4. chicken-herder

    chicken-herder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ha-ha, Marge will have to do her time ;) I have to get some more hens in the near future and am petrified that I will have a similar situation- oh well I guess it's normal in chicken society but horrible to watch! It's great you are stepping in, Patty and Selma are lucky girls and hopefully Marge will be a bit friendlier after her 'vacation' :lol: all the best with your girls
     
  5. LoriL

    LoriL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Marge is now in time-out, and I hope a new chief is elected in her absence. She is vocal in her disapproval of this turn of events! [​IMG]
    We'll give it a couple of days before she rejoins the others-hope Selma and Patty enjoy the break from her bullying, too! I'll let you know how it goes-I appreciate your support! We're also adding a few chicks this spring, but I think I have a plan for that...time will tell.
     
  6. chicken-herder

    chicken-herder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She does look rather furious! ;) Despite the scowl Marge is a very attractive bird! Looking forward to hearing your progress :)
     
  7. qiab

    qiab Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a similar problem with an alpha bully hen. She is a real tough hen and when there are no roosters around will take on a rooster personality. She lays but needs to be isolated from the flock and needs a real strong roo to keep her in line.

    From your post you did not mention having a rooster. She may need a roo to keep the balance.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Shawneegyrl

    Shawneegyrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2013
    Winter Springs, FL
    My Coop
    Was hoping to hear the end of this bully situation. I have a LF RIR who has never been real friendly to people or other chickens. She has turned from not friendly to really nasty to the other girls. She is hateful to all of them but really pesters my EE bantam. I have a mixed flock of 5 LF, 4 cochin and 4 bantams. The poor EE has a bald spot on top of her head and I am almost sure the RIR has been mounting her.

    I currently have her in isolation and hope it will take her down a couple of notches. She is a real good layer and I would hate to have to get rid of her.
     
  9. LoriL

    LoriL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Marge is still in solitary, for at least another few days. A rooster might reign in her bullying, but are against local code, and not an option. While the other hens are doing fine without her, I haven't seen either return to using the nesting box yet, which I was hoping for also. I have learned one somewhat unexpected thing since having Marge living indoors--big chickens fart more than tiny little chicks do. Phew-eee! LOL!


    [​IMG]

    After a bath today, Marge is catching up on backyardchickens.com-she especially loves baby pictures[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  10. LoriL

    LoriL Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hope isolation works for all of these bossy ladies. Hope you will all report back with improvements in temperament once they're back out on parole. Haven't had feather-pulling to deal with lately, or actual visible injuries to any that I saw, so I'll just have to let them sort it out after this break. I am worried that it will re-arise as an issue when I'm ready to integrate chicks in the spring, but I plan to go very slowly. I have a small tractor pen to put inside the run for the chicks to move into first, before allowing physical contact. How long have you all spent acclimating newbies before merging the flocks?
     

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