I've got a mean hen... (X Post)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BlueRoseMama, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. BlueRoseMama

    BlueRoseMama In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2010
    Background: We had 6 hens. They were raised together and bought as chicks. Then one got taken down by a dog and we have now replaced her with another. This was just a few days ago. But it seems that the one that was killed was the head of the pecking order, and so all hell has broken loose in that regard. My chickens are 10 wks old now, and I have several breeds. Two Buff Orphingtons, one Americana, one Black Asrolorp, and one new 14 wk old Light Barhma. The light Barhma was just introduced to the flock this week. We were told by the chicken guy to just toss her in and let them hammer it out. It seemed to be working until tonight. My Astrolorp hen is MEAN! She has made two other hens bleed tonight, and she won't let the new one roost on the roosting poll at all. What should I do? (If anything?) Should I really just let them hammer it out? I know she isn't a roo... Her comb and feathers are very much 'hen' but she is SO dominate! Jumping on the other hens backs, taking food from their mouths and then dropping it to peck at them, chasing them and making their combs bleed. It's really kind of horrible to watch. How long do I let this go on before removing her from the set?

  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I'd remove her now and let her have a time out for a few days in isolation -like if you have a big dog crate to put her in. When they are separated the pecking order changes, unless your other hens are very mild mannered, the Meanie may lose her rank when she goes back. If they do fine without her and she doesn't learn to behave, you may have to rehome her to keep a happy family.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I agree, remove the bully and try again in a week or two. Another strategy is to get/borrow a rooster who will generally keep them in order.

  4. fourgotten

    fourgotten In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2010
    I'm having a similar situation with one of the pair of RIRs that I introduced to my other girls. The original four are younger hens (about 4 1/2 months) and the two RIRs are about 2 years. One of them is pretty aggro (the other seems sweet, but stand-offish) and my four younger girls are spending most of their time avoiding the new ones... even to the extent of spending most of the day in the house while the other two strut about the yard.

    Granted, it's only been two days, but I'm not sure how long it should take before this stops. Hopefully one of the responses that you get to this thread will help me. I'm about ready to take aggro-chicken out of there and keep her in an isolation cage.
  5. BlueRoseMama

    BlueRoseMama In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2010
    This morning seems better. I think I will wait and watch... but if she gets too mean I have a cat kennel to put her in time out for a while. I may start doing that at night anyhow... just to let the others roost if she doesn't start letting them up on the poll. That just seems wrong. The pecking at the beak seems mean, but normal... but the chasing them away from the food and the not letting them roost seems over the top to me. I have had chickens most of my life... and I haven't seen this outside of a roo. So borrowing a rooster may be a good trick too. Thanks for the ideas guys! Keep them coming! [​IMG]

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