Just curious about chicken behavior, re: ganging up

CluckersCapriccio

In the Brooder
Jan 15, 2018
5
11
47
Bothell, Washington
Can someone explain to me what is happening when several chickens run up to another, pin her down for a few seconds, and then once the ordeal is over they all act like nothing happened and remain in close proximity to each other. Mostly, this happens when they are free-ranging outside the coop. The pinned chicken just shakes it off with no damage done and goes back to grazing. I have 7 hens that get along pretty well and I understand the pecking order drama within flocks but this seems to happen randomly although the matriarch is never the victim of this. What did the offending chicken do to cause this reaction from the others?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,797
34,369
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Have you ever watched ten-year olds on a playground? If there happens to be a shy, awkward, perhaps small kid with some sort of defect, there seems to be a bully that turns their attention to the poor kid and all the others join in abusing the kid. There often is some small detail about the abused kid that sets off this behavior.

This is how chickens roll. They pick up on the insecurities of one chicken and a bully will notice. Then the others will join in thrashing the poor chicken. Here's my article on this phenomenon and how you can deal with it before it leads to injuries. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-bully-chicken-victim-a-two-sided-issue.73923/
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,431
577
Southeast Alabama
Can someone explain to me what is happening when several chickens run up to another, pin her down for a few seconds, and then once the ordeal is over they all act like nothing happened and remain in close proximity to each other. Mostly, this happens when they are free-ranging outside the coop. The pinned chicken just shakes it off with no damage done and goes back to grazing. I have 7 hens that get along pretty well and I understand the pecking order drama within flocks but this seems to happen randomly although the matriarch is never the victim of this. What did the offending chicken do to cause this reaction from the others?
Can you post some pics of the 7 hens? it sounds like you may have some roosters and not know it.
 

CluckersCapriccio

In the Brooder
Jan 15, 2018
5
11
47
Bothell, Washington
Have you ever watched ten-year olds on a playground? If there happens to be a shy, awkward, perhaps small kid with some sort of defect, there seems to be a bully that turns their attention to the poor kid and all the others join in abusing the kid. There often is some small detail about the abused kid that sets off this behavior.

This is how chickens roll. They pick up on the insecurities of one chicken and a bully will notice. Then the others will join in thrashing the poor chicken. Here's my article on this phenomenon and how you can deal with it before it leads to injuries. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-bully-chicken-victim-a-two-sided-issue.73923/
Have you ever watched ten-year olds on a playground? If there happens to be a shy, awkward, perhaps small kid with some sort of defect, there seems to be a bully that turns their attention to the poor kid and all the others join in abusing the kid. There often is some small detail about the abused kid that sets off this behavior.

This is how chickens roll. They pick up on the insecurities of one chicken and a bully will notice. Then the others will join in thrashing the poor chicken. Here's my article on this phenomenon and how you can deal with it before it leads to injuries. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-bully-chicken-victim-a-two-sided-issue.73923/
Thank you for the info. It's just so random and I was sure a seasoned chicken owner would know the answer.
 

CluckersCapriccio

In the Brooder
Jan 15, 2018
5
11
47
Bothell, Washington
Can you post some pics of the 7 hens? it sounds like you may have some roosters and not know it.
I assure you there are no roosters. My girls are almost 3 years old and all egg layers although one of my Americauna's has recently begun to try to crow. She's never even heard a rooster crow. It's rather pathetic but very funny. Otherwise, she's a docile, sweet chicken.
 

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