Hens Fighting - Is this Normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sweetshoplady, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    Gypsy's babies are about 3 weeks old. They have been out in a tractor for at least a week, possibly 2, during the day.

    Today, I thought I'd see how they'd do back in the flock. Gypsy was not high on the pecking order in the main flock. She was high in her little group, but not the main flock.

    I was working on the pheasant run and heard a lot of chicken noises so I went to investigate. Pearl was fighting with Gypsy. Then, a little bit later, Thelma came up and fought with Gypsy. I was able to break that one up. Then, it got to where anyone who came close to Gypsy, she would peck. The hens (and little roos) basically ignored the wee ones, which I was really glad of.

    Later, around suppertime, the fights began again. First every time Gypsy went over to the food dish, Thelma would come running over and peck at her. (and allow the chicks to eat). Then the guineas came up with the three packing peanuts. One of the little red roos went at it with Gypsy. Then Captain Bart came up and fluffed out at Gypsy and stared at her, I thought he was going to fight with her too, but he changed his mind and opted for a private moment with her.

    A little bit later, Bart decided to make up for lost time with Gypsy and Sophie came up and pecked at Gypsy when Bart was on top of her. I was finally able to catch Gypsy and the little ones and get them separated for sleeping.

    Is this normal stuff? The pecking order being re-established?
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    The hen is trying to protect her babies. Every other bird is a potential threat as far as she is concerned. I would be extremely worried about the babies getting hurt by the fighting. Even their own momma could accidently hurt them.

  3. meissel

    meissel In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2008
    Goodview, VA
    I had 3 hens sitting on eggs in the same nest box. Chicks appeared on Halloween. The three hens have been fighting each other ever since. They never fought like this before the chicks. If I split them up do I split up the chicks too? I have three other hens who never sat on the eggs and they are not involved in the fighting.
  4. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Maybe they each think they are the mother of all the chicks, if I read your details correctly?
  5. meissel

    meissel In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2008
    Goodview, VA
    Yes Chicabee19, that's exactly what it seems like. The last hen to join in sitting on the eggs seems to be the antagonist. I think if I separated her the fighting would stop. But if I do this should I move some of the chicks with her? And they all seem to hate being separated. This chicken management stuff is HARD!
  6. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Try putting them in when all the others are asleep.

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