Hen has lost her mind, HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JodyJo, May 22, 2012.

  1. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

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    I have a strange situation and need help...fast...

    I have a hen who just hatched out a couple eggs, her and the chicks are secluded in another coop. I have an EE hen (at least 10 weeks younger than the mama hen) but laying eggs...the EE hangs out in the shed where the mama and chicks are, pacing quite often around the coop...

    Yesterday I thought I would let the mama and babes out, let them rejoin the flock, or see what happened at least....the EE lost her mind...she attacked the mama hen and fought with her like I have never seen! I have seen roosters spar, this was nothing like that!
    She wanted to kill her! What the heck is going on?

    I don't want to have to get rid of either hen....they used to spar a little before she went broody, but now, she attacks her through the mesh of the coop! The mama is an Australorp, fully capable of taking on the smaller EE, I don't want either hurt or have to rehome either, but I can't allow this to go on.

    The poor little chicks ran "screaming", trying to get to safety...heart breaking...

    If any one has ANY ideas, please...I need some help!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    The hens were evidently jostling for position in the pecking order prior to the Australorp going broody. Now that she has had more free reign in the flock (Australorp was away busily setting) the EE has decided to resolve things. Keep them separated until the chicks are larger and then either allow them to resolve things or one will have to go. Chicken society is frequently brutal and cruel - justthe nature of the bird.
     
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

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    well, I understand pecking order, I added in 3 EE's last year to my established flock, this one just seems to have a strange behavior, basically stalking the other hen...waiting for her chance to pounce.

    Like I stated, they jousted a tad before she went broody, but this EE is by NO means the top dog in the flock....this just seems obscene the way they ripped into each other and even through the fencing!

    I obviously have to keep them apart...the problem is, I have my broody hens in a separate coop, one is sitting now on 7 eggs due to hatch this weekend. Can I have to hens with chicks in the same small coop? Its a store bought one, the upper level is the roosting area with slotted floor, not good for baby chicks to walk on, the ramp down and bottom are open to the first mama and chicks...

    It would be easier to just use the brooder and take them away from the mamas, but I do not want to do that...ugh! Any more advice...?

    A lot of people are reading this and nobody seems to have any insight into this for me....
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    I keep my broodies in a separate "chick pen" and they get along fine. And my chick pen isn't very big.
    Otherwise maybe you should keep a water pistol handy when you let your mom hen out. Then if the EE makes trouble you squirt her. I've heard from other members here that it works well.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    The EE is attacking because she is NOT high in the social order. She sees attacks on the Australorp as a chance to improve her position. Chicken psychology 101.
     
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

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    well....I was sure that was it as well, its seeing it in full action....like I did....was too much.

    She literally lies in waiting, she does not leave the shed area very often where the coop is...and then flew across the
    shed to get to the mama as fast as she could. It was strange...

    Of course the first thing the mama did, before she was attacked, was to grab a bug and drop it for her
    chicks to eat...too cute!

    Onward then...so when can I release the new mamas and chicks out with the rest of the flock? I have read several different things...
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

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    very good, I will continue as I am then....hopefully it works out...this is my first time with broody hens and eggs hatching naturally!
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Let them out with the rest of the flock when the chicks are about 2 weeks old. Then they'll be nice and strong.
     

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