Hens Behavior

Rommy

Songster
Apr 17, 2019
96
167
117
NC
Hi Folks! I have what have been id'd as Maran hens (2) and 2 Rhode Island Reds. The Marans are much bigger than my RI girls. My concern is the Marans seem to be getting pretty dominating and I saw one actually peck one of the RI girls on the head this morning. One of my Maran's (Ms. Tip) has just begun to lay; the other girls appear to be a bit slower in that area. Ms. Tip seems to be a little testy since she started laying. She is not being broody (I assume that means she wants to sit on the nest.) But, she is crouching and arching her wings when I come in sometimes even though she is off the nest. This is my first time with chickens and love my girls; but want to be able to learn to read their behavior as well. How do I try and deter aggressive behavior if it gets bad and how do I assert myself with them and keep their trust at the same time? Thanks for any input!
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Quackter

Songster
May 15, 2019
374
1,513
198
Agreed, normal, with one question. They have been in together for a while? Introducing, that's when it can get ugly, if they are new and can't get away. If it gets bad, where the dominant hen is actually hurting the others, you can try isolating her for a couple days, then reintroducing her. Makes her the new girl, changes attitude for a bit. I did this a couple weeks ago, but the one I separated is now back in charge, and almost as mean as before. Funny thing is she is a Black Australorps, known for being sweet and docile, and with people she is. The other one doesn't act like that.
 

Rommy

Songster
Apr 17, 2019
96
167
117
NC
Agreed, normal, with one question. They have been in together for a while? Introducing, that's when it can get ugly, if they are new and can't get away. If it gets bad, where the dominant hen is actually hurting the others, you can try isolating her for a couple days, then reintroducing her. Makes her the new girl, changes attitude for a bit. I did this a couple weeks ago, but the one I separated is now back in charge, and almost as mean as before. Funny thing is she is a Black Australorps, known for being sweet and docile, and with people she is. The other one doesn't act like that.
Thanks, I will keep a watch and see how they progress. Up to this point they have all gotten along well; at least when I'm watching. lol
 

Rommy

Songster
Apr 17, 2019
96
167
117
NC
Agreed, normal, with one question. They have been in together for a while? Introducing, that's when it can get ugly, if they are new and can't get away. If it gets bad, where the dominant hen is actually hurting the others, you can try isolating her for a couple days, then reintroducing her. Makes her the new girl, changes attitude for a bit. I did this a couple weeks ago, but the one I separated is now back in charge, and almost as mean as before. Funny thing is she is a Black Australorps, known for being sweet and docile, and with people she is. The other one doesn't act like that.
They have all been together since they were little chicks. For the most part they seem to get along; was just very surprised when the one pecked the other this morning!
 

AudraBrooke

Chirping
May 3, 2019
24
50
57
Washington State
Her crouching and arching her wings is actually the exact opposite of aggressive behavior and is actually a submissive stance and a completely normal chicken behavior called "squatting." You should see that once your other girls are close to laying or start laying you will see them do the same pose. :)
 

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