Is this normal?? Too aggressive or just Top Pullet?

Do you feel this behavior seems mostly normal for the situation?

  • Yes.... she's just being the mother hen.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes... it's just her personality.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • No... she's too aggressive.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes it's normal... for a cockerel!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

ChickLOVESChicks

Chirping
Jun 19, 2018
39
46
56
Washington State
My 12-16 week old EE pullet (well, at least I'm 80% sure it's a pullet, lol) has always been the one in charge and is bigger than her sister of the same age... but more and more recently she's becoming more aggressive. I'm wondering if this is normal for the "Top Girl" in the pecking order, or if she may be a cockerel? She is never aggressive with the others, not more than just simple spats here and there... But they all do that too eachother and no one is picked on.

She has been pecking at me more often... mostly warning pecks, but they can be startling nonetheless! Whenever I pick up another bird in my 4 bird micro-flock she gets very defensive and squawks pretty much relentlessly until I return them. Even jumping up and pecking at the windows of the coop to get my attention! Even when I'm holding her alone, she's constantly on the look-out, and always has her mouth open, chirping much more than the others....

The flock contains 3 birds all 12-16 weeks of age. 2 EE's and one Rhode Island Red. And also one younger Buff Orpington that is about 2 weeks behind the others. They all mother the younger very nicely, and they all get along extremely well. The Buff Orpington is the real sweetheart of the group for sure…as you might expect... followed by the RIR, and the smaller EE is also quite sweet.
She's always been like this more or less, but when they were about 8 weeks old there was a predator attack where we lost 2 birds... Since then she's been even more protective over the other girls. Which I no doubt appreciate, but I wish she would trust me a bit more as well. They are still young of course, and hopefully that will come with time and careful socializing.

I would like to know if y'all think this seems normal for this situation? I'd love to hear about some of the flock dynamics of your own flocks... And what is the difference between how a top hen would treat the flock, and say, a rooster... (besides the obvious, lol)

I'll include some pics of my Miss Bossy and some of when she does her "mouth open squawk thing"...
 

HenniesInMyHeart

Songster
Mar 12, 2018
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Colorado
AWWWWWWWWWWWWW she is beautiful! :love You are, too!
She's definitely a pullet btw. I have this issue with Duchess, my "Sassy Sussex!" It sucks and I feel for you and your other girls! :(
Roos usually love their hens (sometimes too much!) rather than bullying them. They may accidentally pull feathers out of the back of the head and cause wounds from their claws/scratch rump feathers off when mating, and if you have one roo with not too many hens, or if a roo has a favorite hen, it can be tougher on the girls. Hens, well, they can get downright nasty. You may want to try separating her for a while so the pecking order dynamic changes with the flock, then reintroduce her. She might be knocked off her high horse that way.
 

ChickLOVESChicks

Chirping
Jun 19, 2018
39
46
56
Washington State
AWWWWWWWWWWWWW she is beautiful! :love You are, too!
She's definitely a pullet btw. I have this issue with Duchess, my "Sassy Sussex!" It sucks and I feel for you and your other girls! :(
Roos usually love their hens (sometimes too much!) rather than bullying them. They may accidentally pull feathers out of the back of the head and cause wounds from their claws/scratch rump feathers off when mating, and if you have one roo with not too many hens, or if a roo has a favorite hen, it can be tougher on the girls. Hens, well, they can get downright nasty. You may want to try separating her for a while so the pecking order dynamic changes with the flock, then reintroduce her. She might be knocked off her high horse that way.
Well, thank you very much! :love:):love
Luckily it's more of an issue with me than the others... she's never really messed with them too much, it more of an overprotective thing I guess... Of course I haven't seen any mating attempts or anything like that... She still lets me hold her and pick her up if I can get to her, lol... Since I only have 4 girls I really couldn't use a rooster properly, but I'd be very happy to have protective, mothering hen... if she continues in that direction rather than trying to keep me away from her "children"... I can't really hold it against her too much since deep down I really think she is a sweetie in disguise! And if I took her away from the others for any lengthy amount of time, she would surely have a heart attack from worry and would never shut up, lol!!:duc
 

ChickLOVESChicks

Chirping
Jun 19, 2018
39
46
56
Washington State
AWE, I just saw that you have some Blue Laced Red Wyandotte's!! We had a little one up until around 6 weeks old or so, and lost her to a predator attack.... We were devastated... She was such a sweetie, and SO BEAUTIFUL!! :hit
 

HenniesInMyHeart

Songster
Mar 12, 2018
571
1,128
237
Colorado
@ChickLOVESChicks I am so sorry you lost your BLRW. :hit I would totally give you some! I am super excited for these, I have tried 2 other batches and most quit in the first week, only 1 or 2 made it to lockdown and those ended up DIS every time. I've recently learned to make some adjustments for high altitude and this time I have 24 viable eggs at day 11, looking great so far! :yesss: Here's hoping for lotsa cute fluffies.
OMG, about separation, my Duchess is like that, too...she will yell for days if she isn't pleased about anything. Fortunately she doesn't attack me though.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
She has been pecking at me more often... mostly warning pecks, but they can be startling nonetheless! Whenever I pick up another bird in my 4 bird micro-flock she gets very defensive and squawks pretty much relentlessly until I return them.
Have had this happen several times, mostly with hand fed chicks often as they come of age and get spunky. It's pretty easily curbed with calm and deliberate determination.

I peck them back, on the head or anywhere I can reach, with the tips of thumb and first 2 fingers, as hard and fast as many times as I can before they get away. Well, not hard enough to hurt them, just startle them and let them you mean business. That's what another chicken would do, so they understand that kind of communication.

If that doesn't work after a couple applications, I hold them down to the ground with my hand on their back until they submit....again firmly enough to get the job done but not hurt them....add a few finger pecks and/or tug on the feathers on the back of their neck.
 

ChickLOVESChicks

Chirping
Jun 19, 2018
39
46
56
Washington State
Wow! I don't have any egg layers yet, and probably won't attempt hatching any for quite awhile... is it always that difficult? God bless you for keeping with it!! I do have some kittens right now however! But just found out the male polydactyls have a few extra finger nails that might need to be surgically removed... They're ok now, but could get pretty painful when full grown... I hope I can find a vet to work with me, or maybe the new owners I find will be willing to do the right thing with them. They sure are special little guys!
I forgot that people send chicks thru the mail and stuff don't they! Seems pretty crazy, but how else would they get around...lol? :jumpy
 

ChickLOVESChicks

Chirping
Jun 19, 2018
39
46
56
Washington State
Have had this happen several times, mostly with hand fed chicks often as they come of age and get spunky. It's pretty easily curbed with calm and deliberate determination.

I peck them back, on the head or anywhere I can reach, with the tips of thumb and first 2 fingers, as hard and fast as many times as I can before they get away. Well, not hard enough to hurt them, just startle them and let them you mean business. That's what another chicken would do, so they understand that kind of communication.

If that doesn't work after a couple applications, I hold them down to the ground with my hand on their back until they submit....again firmly enough to get the job done but not hurt them....add a few finger pecks and/or tug on the feathers on the back of their neck.
Thanks for the suggestions... I will need to try those if she doesn't continue to come around and settle a bit... They were hand raised and had lots of time with us... so maybe she's testing her independence, lol...
I picked her up yesterday and just held her close while I walked around for like 15 mins or so... just to calm her down. She did just fine and maybe we'll be able to come to an understanding... :hmm
She started darting around the run in a weird way, like when she's spooked by me for example… she gets real low to the ground and darts away... I haven't seen any of the other girls do that in quite the same way... :confused:
 

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