I figured out how to get my flock to be nice to my hen!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicken Lass, May 18, 2010.

  1. Chicken Lass

    Chicken Lass In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    My hen Rosin was sick for a while and I had her separated from the others for a couple weeks, which caused problems. The others started attacking her when I put her back into the coop with them. They would get her cornered and just be merciless. So I tried placing her into a see-through cage for a time and let her out with the others when I could be there to control things (also to let her heal better first, since I heard that other chickens might attack a weakened one). I let her out as often as I could, letting the others chase her one by one (as long as they didn't get too rough) so they would feel less threatened by her presence. But after carefully watching them, I realized that I had one particular hen (Lobelia) who was more aggressive than the others and would lead the others to gang up on Rosin. Lobelia was a lot more serious about attacking Rosin and the others would join in when they saw her go for Rosin. So, this in mind, I took Lobelia out and put her in a section where she could see the others, but not be with them. I kept her away for a week, and during that time Rosin gradually got accepted by the others without Lobelia to interfere. When I saw that Rosin was comfortable with the others (about a week with them), I reintroduced Lobelia. It worked!!! Lobelia, while still occasionally going after Rosin, also went after a couple others, and I guess forgot that Rosin was THE ONE. Lobelia was much more settled down about things too, and now they are all one happy flock again, doing their normal things. I hope this helps anyone who has similar problems. I could be wrong and maybe it was just my particular hen, but it could be worth a try. I just observed like crazy and kept an eye on things for a while even after I thought everything was okay. Could be there's a ring leader or two in every flock that causes the rest to gang up - it was in my case - and the ring leader just needs time to chill out! Luckily the others didn't attack Lobelia when I put her back in with them, or that could have been a whole other problem! Okay - I'm done with my novel now! Hope this helps someone.
  2. HawaiiHorseGirl

    HawaiiHorseGirl In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2010
    Awesome advice, thanks for the followup!! [​IMG]
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Removal of the dominant hen rather than the one being attacked is a proven way of adjusting the pecking order. After a period of time (long enough for the pecking order to be adjusted) the offender is reintroduced and is so busy reestablishing her position that the original target is forgotten. If the aggressive behavior reappears, it may then be time for the crockpot.
  4. EggSpudition

    EggSpudition Songster

    Feb 2, 2010
    My Coop
    That's great! Congratulations, awesome chicken psychiatry! [​IMG]
  5. eekgads

    eekgads Chirping

    Aug 19, 2009
    Central VA
    Ooooo, nice going! I'll have to try that should the occasion arise!
  6. wanderseek

    wanderseek In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2010
    east central Indiana
    Removal of the dominant hen is the key, you say? Okay, got it. But....how do you really know which one is the dominant one?

    I, by my husband's insistence, introduced six of my newest young birds into my main coop which is full of adolescent birds. Of course, as I expected, the new ones got bullied big time. By a few different of the older ones. I removed the younguns after seeing that it wasn't going to stop, and today, I put them in a portable pen against the main pen so that both groups could sorta get used to eachother without being able to fight. I wonder if this will work though, since they don't seem to be able to establilsh a pecking order unless they are directly mingling together. I thought maybe if each group just kinda started looking like part of the scenery to the other group, it would be a smoother transition when the new ones are put into the main coop. Suggestions?????? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Jkioneil

    Jkioneil Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    okay so i have not done it yet but through many a thread this is how i am going to introduce my two flocks into one... according to the expertise of many BYC peeps...

    i am going to have them near eachother but not where they can fight for a week i will put the little ones in a dog cage next to the girls pen

    the second week i am going to put all of them in a different part of the yard together during the day... somewhere neither of them has claimed as their territory. My big girls are in a run now and during the 2nd week i will have them all free range the part of the back yard they dont go in normally

    then one night as the girls are sleeping i will slip the other girls into the hen house and hope for the best

    i have read that if you put them in at night it is the best time they wake up and jsut go about thier buisness.
    i have also read that if the new chickens are chicks you want to wait until they are as big as you can before you introduce.
    also make sure they have somewhere to run away to if they need to. like bushes etc...

    that is what i have read and how i plan on doing it here in a few weeks when my chicks are big enough. hope this helps! [​IMG]

    if anyone has any other suggestions i would love to hear about it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by