Hens fighting like roosters..help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickentvforme, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. chickentvforme

    chickentvforme Chirping

    Jul 27, 2015
    I have one hen inside the coop separated by wire fence with 6 2 week old baby chicks. I have a white sultan that has always been the low hen in the pecking order until recently. Now the sultan is trying to dominate other hens. I noticed that the sultan has been challenging the mother hen through the fence. Both of them will jump up and put their feet on the fence at each other. Mind you these birds have been raised together and gotten along perfectly fine until now. Today I let the mother bird out in the coop and immediately she was met with the sultan and a huge fight began. I've integrated birds before but have never seen this level of aggression. The fighting is both birds tearing out feathers while jumping up with feet together. What do I do? Let them work it out? Is this just part of it?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I had this same trouble last year, to me it seems like jealousy. I had to release the mom and allow some fighting until it was too much than separate them. I had to do this for almost a week before it was settled. Make sure the chicks can handle the ruckus, and keep playing referee. This year the one who was fighting has the chicks, and there's no drama because she is top hen. So my advice is to keep trying and hopefully they get it worked out without too much damage.
  3. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Songster

    Mar 8, 2015
    My Coop
    Just slowly let them get reaquainted with eachother. Baby chicks throws a huge curve ball in the flock so sounds like the bottom hen is taking advantage. My bottom hen has done this several times with the lead. I had to.out the trouble maker in a private crate for a few days and let her back. She quickly realized i wasnt having it and decided to be good to stay with her flock. Sounds like u r on it :)
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've had a lower ranked hen go broody and then have to fight her way back in 2 weeks after chicks hatched and I took down the mesh wall. A few pretty brutal fights with 3 other hens that I had to break up because the cockbird couldn't. But it resolved after those one fights each and broody enjoyed her new higher status.

    But I would be concerned about the sultan challenging the broody thru the fence,
    but she may be just working her way up the ladder.
    If it doesn't calm quickly, I would isolate the sultan for a day or two....or longer if she doesn't shape up.

    It's not unusual for hens to 'fight like roosters'......
    .....they are actually just fighting like chickens.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. chickentvforme

    chickentvforme Chirping

    Jul 27, 2015
    Oh you are all wonderful! Thank you for answering my questions. This is the second batch of chick's in about 6 weeks so it might have just been too much for Miss Precious (sultan) to handle. I will keep trying and if not she may have to enjoy some time in the garage alone. Thanks again and anything you have to add is much appreciated!

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