Hens picking on one hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sunshineaviarie, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. sunshineaviarie

    sunshineaviarie In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2014
    Kern River Valley
    We have 8 hens that are about 2 years old now. They were raised together and got along well. They have a 20 x 20 coop which they sleep in at night and free range all day. One of the hens, a red sex linked, has spurs and some of the hens pick on her. One will jump on her back and peck at her head, Some pull her feathers out and chase her around. We just got a rooster hoping that will help, however he is only 3 months old and is just getting used to everything. Any ideas what the problem could be? Thank you.
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It sounds like it's just the darned pecking order, and someone is always at the bottom of it. Usually, it's the timid hen who lacks enough self confidence to challenge those who are picking on her. By being timid and accepting the bullying by crouching so they can stand on her back, she is reinforcing her victim status.

    Try to be patient. The pecking order is always changing, and often, even though it may be a year or two later, the victim moves up and will some day be at the top.
  3. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    x 2 on the above.

    Is there any chance she could be unwell? I know hens will attack a sick bird in an attempt to eliminate it. Also, if they see blood (for example, from feather picking) it is like waving a red flag to a bull. They will be persistent in their harassment of her. If either one of these is the case, she may need to be separated until she is feeling better, and any wounds have healed.

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014

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