Is this what chickens do????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by savingpurple, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I resigned myself to the fact a few days ago that I had a witch of a hen. Deal with it, I told myself, turn your head and know they are just chickens doing what they do.....

    Is this what they do? Attack the others all day long, every day?? Relentlessly?? Never ending??

    I will admit I went in to this as a new chicken person, little knowledge, but love animals and thought I could do it. I still feel I can do it, but am so stressed over my hens being tortured in my opinion. I know many on here have had many worse bloody incidents, but my poor hens are so scared, and live in fear, and the main culprit is now teaching another to join in!

    Is this what chcikens do?

    Tonight I had 3 hens being pecked so bad, just trying to get onto the roost....they huddle in the corner afraid to make a move for fear of the wrath of a beak in their eye, or head, and 2 are going at it from both sides.

    Is this what chickens do???

    Not sure if it is, that I then, am cut out to be a chicken owner.......

    Today as I brought lettuce, strawberry tops, and blueberries to them, had to have 2 suet baskets to prevent total full blown attacks, the main culrpit had an entire basket to herself, and the other 6 were on the other one. One hen walked by her, not even that close and she grabbed her comb, and pushed her head to the ground, and the hen decided it was best this time not to fight, as if they do she just shakes them relentlessly until they break free, screaming the entire time....

    Is this what chickens do??

    This is not enjoyable to see. Not enjoyable to be around. I know again, many may say that they are not here to entertain me, I get that,but is this what is normal and I am just a city girl, trying to get some farm fresh eggs and need to put my big girl boots on and deal with it???

    I didn't go out much today because of the heat, only to keep them watered and see how they were dealing with the heat. Each time the main culprit was attacking the other hens. So in the hours I was inside, what was she doing? How many times is considered okay!?

    I want to rescue my 5 hens, and let them live in peace, not fear, and the other one maybe if she can also tame back down, but am so afraid that the one hen is teaching the other one to be just as mean.

    Is this what chickens do???

    I am at wits end, and if this is what takes place in your daily lives, as chicken owners, then I am a wimp, and will always be a city girl.

    The other 5 hens, if they walk in the coop to get some food or water, and she comes in, fear sets in,and they run like a racoon is present. She traps them in the corner and pecks and grabs on to whatever she can and shakes them, the entire tiem they scream....I have tried 2 feeders, 2 waterers, and it doesn't matter what, she goes at them. I ended up removing the suet baskets today due to the abuse my hens were receiving. Felt bad that I wanted to give them some healthy treats, and they get bitten, pecked, and stomped on, just trying to emjoy them.

    Is this what chickens do???
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You need to segregate - or outright get rid of - that mean hen. Some chickens are bullies. For flock cohesiveness, and your own sanity, get rid of her. Temporarily MIGHT do it, if you put her in a jail coop for a week or so. It changes the pecking order and when she returns, there will be another hen who has established herself as Top Hen.

    That MAY solve the problem, but you may just need to find her a new home. Or, if you are able to do so, process her and have some Mean Chicken & Dumplings for dinner some night.
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    Well, sometimes! But certainly not always!

    Some folks have had luck reforming a bully by putting her in a separate cage for a week or so, so that she has to start over again in the pecking order.

    It's also good to have some variety in the run - perches, logs, bushes, rocks - any kind of thing so they can get out of each others' sight sometimes. But a hardcore bully needs a timeout, and if that doesn't work, then removal.
  4. Meghalu

    Meghalu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    The Okanagan
    That's what some chickens do, until the owner has enough and turns them into soup. Sounds like your hen is not a team player...therefore she should get cut from the team.
  5. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    Try to separate her from the flock for a few days or so. I would put her in a dog crate and let her learn her lesson. With her being gone for a few days it will shake up the pecking order a bit and maybe they will gain a little confidence with her gone and then bring her back. If anything it will give her a few days break from her.

    What breeds are we talking here and how old? Also, have all 6 of the girls been raised together or was the an flock integration recently? A little more info will help... I am new to chickens also, but have been doing a lot of reading trying to up my knowledge to be prepared for anything and this is what I have read that others have done with mean hens. Hang in'll work out.

    Hopefully someone with more experience can help you out more.
    Good Luck!

  6. Eggs-quisite Eggs-cursion

    Eggs-quisite Eggs-cursion Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2011
    Well, obviously, that's what that chicken does, but, good grief, she's a trouble maker. That would be difficult to watch. I'd for sure have her out and in a dog carrier or some other form of isolation (with her own feed and water, of course) to give your other hens peace and a chance to work out a new pecking order with just the five. Then after two weeks, I'd put her back in with them.

    Hopefully, by then she will end up at the lower end of the pecking order and will adjust properly to her new spot in the flock.

    I know it's harsh to put her in isolation for so long, but it's harsh to the other five hens not to do something to help them live peaceful lives. She has some sort of behavior issues. If the two-week isolation doesn't work, I have no idea what to do. Maybe get a rooster. That would help with the flock dynamics, well, if you get a good rooster, which is an iffy proposition. Usually it's best to have a rooster who grew up with the girls be the flock leader. And yes, I really think it will take two weeks. One week might work, but if it's not long enough, then you'll have to start all over. Not worth the risk or extra work involved.

    I've never seen such a thing. I feel for you. That would be really upsetting to watch.

    Where did these hens come from? It doesn't sound like they grew up together.
  7. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Well, it's not what my chickens do. And they'd better not start either or whoever the troublemaker is will be gone in a heartbeat.
  8. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    All raised together. all but her are 18 weeks tomorrow. She is 17 weeks tomorrow. White leghorn. Tried the time out, for a week or so, then tried a crate in the outdoor run, with her confined for 2 days.

    She is worse now then before. She is just plain MEAN to them. Sweet as pie to me.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Sounds like Leghorn Pot Pie time, if you don't wish to rehome her.
  10. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    Well I have found with my hens there is some pecking everyday. From what you are saying though sounds like you might have an extreme case. I have never done the isolation thing like they are talking about but, hey worth a shot. If when she gets back in a week she is being just as mean as before I would really look into rehoming her. Don't feel guilty about it, I mean she is making your other birds miserable. I just had to get rid of a roo last week. I raised him from a baby but, about a week and a half ago he started flogging my kids and I. After 3 days of him trying to do this I re-homed him and I am so much happier for it. I wish he would of stayed nice but, I raised him the best I could and well that is just who he was. He is lucky after flogging my 7 year he just got re-homed and not turned into stew. May I ask what breed is your meanie hen?[​IMG]

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