hens started fighting recently

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by biancaguardian, May 8, 2011.

  1. biancaguardian

    biancaguardian New Egg

    Apr 20, 2010
    We have 12 hens, who have lived together peaceably for several years; stable pecking order. A week ago I noticed 2 hens were badly wounded, heads covered with blood and weakened. These 2 have healed up somewhat. Still I witnessed today, both getting into fights with other hens.
    What might be the cause of this behavior? Is there anything we can do, to minimize the fighting
    Thank you!

    BANTAMWYANDOTTE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    This is very common with older hens when new flock members are introduced to them. If there are new chickens in the flock and things are as you say then you should be prepared to do some moving.

    These hens sound like they are not happy with their flock mates. Do you get eggs from them? How many per week? If you are getting less than eight eggs a day then it is obvious that these hens are not happy and are stressed out by something. There some steps you can take to correct the over-stressing:

    Take the overly aggressive hens away from the flock and provide them with a pen that allow them to see out of only one side. (the front is best) Hens that are alone become less stressed when what they look at is controlled. What I mean is, at night hens can look out there pen and see a dog and become stressed. If the same predator appears nightly she will want to move away from that spot. Because she is confined she becomes nervous and panicky. So you limit her view of things that can stress her. At night cover all sides and remove the front in the morning.

    Move all the hens (and coop if possible) to a new location away from where they are now. This could be a possum or raccoon visiting the coop every night and trying to get in. (look for signs) If not it could be the ground or a tree or anything that is disturbing them. Move them to a very grassy area with shade provided. Give them access to nests as well as food, water and Oyster Shells. This will stop the egg production of the hens for around a week. But some layers pellets to give them.

    If they have a rooster with them, separate them. Roosters have a tendency to be a little too rough during breeding. They can cause physical and emotional stress in the hens. Also if he is over-breeding it can cause sickness.

    Make sure none of your hens are (or are going) broody. This causes them to be more aggressive.

    This should help to problem:

    After three weeks, the hens and rooster can be re-united. The aggressive hens can return on week four. If they continue to beat up the others you will have to re-home them or eat them.

    My best advice

    Timothy from KY

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