- Mar 26, 2015
Two hens who have been flock mates for 2 years now have suddenly started fighting each other. We separated them several times and they seem to draw straight back into a fight, drawing blood. A little background: We tried several times this summer to hatch eggs and 4 of my 6 hens were unsuccessful for one reason or another until this September, when Dottie (buff orpington/brahma banty) hatched a single chick on September 7. Frankie, the other hen, (white leghorn/silkie) was broody at the same time as Dottie. We separated Dottie and her chick from the rest of the flock for the first three weeks, and as she was itching to get back to the coop and her routine, so I transitioned them back, in early October with no issues. At night, Dottie usually puts herself to bed in the same nest box with her chick, and Frankie will often sleep in one close by. The flock (8 total) free ranges together and Frankie seemed to be the only hen Dottie would let close to her chick, who is almost 8 weeks now. Last night I closed up the coop and counted hens and the chick was in the nest box with Frankie, rather than Dottie. I didn't think too much of it, but today they're fighting. If this isn't pecking order, and it's about who "owns" the chick, I'm afraid they'll fight to the death, and Frankie is worse for wear. She's separated now in a crate, after tending her wounds, but that is only a temporary fix. If anyone has any advice or solutions, I'd be grateful for the help.