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Hen murdering coop-mates

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Liza L, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Liza L

    Liza L New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2011
    Hi everyone -- this is my first post. I've had chickens for two years, with the most-recent version of the flock being an Americauna rooster, one Americauna hen, and three New Hampshire Reds, all about a year old. I recently tried to add four new 3-month-old pullets, two Brahmas and two Australorps. I introduced them to the established flock by keeping them in a dog X-pen for several days, leaving the X-pen inside the chicken run so everyone could see the new chickens and get used to them. After about 5 days I opened the X-pen at night so they'd go through the night roosting together, as I'd read that's a good way to introduce them. For a couple of days all was well although I noticed that my biggest and highest-on-the-pecking-order New Hamp seemed kind of fixated on the Brahmas and would chase them around pecking at them. I thought this was part of everyone determining her place in the pecking order. Well, one day when I got home from work I went to check on them and one of the Brahmas was dead with her poor head a pulpy, pecked mess. On the advice of the breeder, I put the aggressive New Hamp in the X-pen for several days, thinking this would reduce her status in the flock. During the day everyone got to free range together, and I observed no problems. Well, I guess you can figure out what's coming -- another dead Brahma. I'd had it by then and took the N.H. off to my friend's barn so her ranch hand could take her home and turn her into caldo (Spanish for soup). My friend decided this hen was so pretty and plump that she'd "rehabilitate" her by introducing her to her flock of about 20 birds -- her thinking was that since she has a larger space there'd be less tension. Within an hour she was screaming for her ranch hand to "get this psycho chicken out of here" -- apparently the New Hamp had puffed up her chest and was going after my friend's chickens with what my friend thought was intent to kill.
    At least I still have the Australorps, who for some reason the N.H. didn't go after. The Brahmas were white -- I wonder if this had anything to do with her obsession with them?
    Anyway, all is peaceful in the flock now that this hen is gone, but I'm very sad for my poor little Brahmas, who were very sweet. The breeder says she's never had anything like this happen. Anyone else had any murderous chickens?
    -- Liza L.
     
  2. sfw2

    sfw2 Global Menace

    I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your Brahmas this way. I've noticed that when there's bullying going on in my flock, it's often towards the birds who look different from the majority of the flock.

    Edited because I meant to say [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  3. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is SO sad! I have had hatchery silver laced Wyandottes that were so aggressive when I tried to introduce young birds that I had to get rid of them [​IMG] I also don't try to introduce young birds with adult birds until they are at least half the size of the adults. I always have to intervene and chase chickens away that go after a youngster. After a few times the hens get the idea they are supposed to leave the babies alone [​IMG]
     
  4. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Milner, Georgia
    I had a very serious talk with my BSL yesterday about the same thing. Except she was after the BO that's been settin. She came off the nest for a leg stretch and poop. The BSL just tried everyway she could to hurt the hen. So I step in and stopped that right there. The only peace the hen gets in on the nest. Now I wonder if she hatches the eggs what then? Man![​IMG]
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Colmesneil,TX
    I had one BO, believe it or not, that was crazy mean to the others. She got a rehab in the crock pot. Any that cause the flock problems gets taken away one way or the other. It's sad, but for the sake of the whole flock, sometimes you just have to do it.
     
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    for separating the bully to be effective I believe they have to be completely out of sight and away from the group. Otherwise, they are still there and can vocally remind everyone how big and bad they are.
     
  7. mayedr

    mayedr New Egg

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    Sep 23, 2008
    I am having same problem with geese but not chickens. My friend is having trouble with chickens and guineas.
     

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