Hen Suddenly Attacking the Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bells AZ, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Bells AZ

    Bells AZ Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    35
    Apr 18, 2015
    We have a flock of 7 hens. Recently, one (sex-link) has started attacking all the others by pecking at their feet, causing injury.

    Is this common? We pulled her out of the coop temporarily, but seeking advice.
     
  2. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Overrun With Chickens

    How old are the hens? Sometimes they fight for leadership among themselves. Perhaps keep her in a cage next to the coop, or anywhere where she can see the other hens, but not get to them. This worked for me to stop my hen from attacking the other chickens.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    a few questions... but first Welcome to BYC :welcome from the San Diego high desert.

    How old are your hens

    Hows the temperature in your neck of the woods.

    Whats their diet.

    When having behavior issues there is also space concerns how much space do they have to be chickens in. In hot climates they will need more than the usual four square feet per bird coop space.

    One temporary fix for the picking till you determine the cause is to Paint their feet blue with blue coat... Looks goofy and is a mess to apply but it hides any pink or blood specks that attract pecky beaks. Blue coat can be bought at the feed store and is a thin antibotic ointment applied by a dauber in the cap. Wear rubber gloves if you can and pants that you dont care.

    Its good stuff to have on hand any way. even if you never use it again. I keep a bottle in the critter first aid kit.

    deb
     
    aart likes this.
  4. Bells AZ

    Bells AZ Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    35
    Apr 18, 2015
    They are 2 years old. Temp is 95F during the day. The coop is 120 sq ft. They are fed chicken feed crumbles and scratch, supplemented periodically with watermelon, cantaloupe, and corn on the cob. They free range several days a week.
     
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    All good. Do you have a rooster near by? one they can hear periodically...
    Maybe you just noticed him?

    any hoo... paint the wounds and possibly get you hen some anti pick peepers. Just to keep the behavior in check till she forgets about doing it. It may be a dominance thing. Though if they are all the same age and have been raised together that should have sorted itself out by now.

    They should be in full egg production right now have you noticed an egg quantity drop off? normal for laying hens rule of thumb is one egg every day for three or four days and a day off. Breeds vary of course...

    This is anecdotal of course but I had one hen that stopped laying eggs. one day I heard a rooster crow... badly. not a pretty doodle do... I looked around to see if one was in the yard... I had none at the time. Nope... no strangers. then the biggest hen I had flappped her wings and gargled out a crow..... I was floored. Yep it does happen she didnt suddenly become male but some of her inner workings stopped. Not long after that a Rooster showed up..... :lau I had to find the little Son of a Biscuit a new home. because at the time we were living in the city.

    I am sure its just a quirk simple solutions often are the best ones to try first.

    deb
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,735
    4,437
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    In my limited experiences owning sex links they often become deficient in protein because of high egg production which can cause aggression. It's possible your hen is becoming deficient and is looking for sources of it. What is the protein content of your ration? I suggest about 20% for high production hens, especially if you are feeding all the extras that you are.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by