My hen has become suddenly aggressive.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Soot the silkie, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2014
    Humboldt, California
    I have four hens, some one year old and the others eight months. They have always been separated into two groups of young and old, and they have been dear friends in each pair. But then I noticed one of the younger hens furiously attacking her friend. It started this evening and just a few hours earlier they were friends but now my submissive hen runs away when her old friend comes near. What has changed her behavior like this suddenly? Also, the submissive hen has not laid eggs for at least three days, unusual for her. Is she stressed because her friend is not being nice to her anymore? Or some other problem? She doesn't feel like she's awaiting an egg either, and is comfortable when I hold her, and is quick on her feet. Could my aggressive hen be undergoing spontaneous sex change by chance?
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Soot the silkie

    Any chance the hen who has become aggressive is going broody?

    Any chance they are coming into a moult? That could be why submissive hen is not laying and aggressive hen is feeling grumpy.

    I have two sisters in my flock who are just over 7 months old and while they were inseparable best of friends, they are now picking on each other in an attempt to determine exactly who is going to be bottom on the pecking order [​IMG]

    I do have a hen, 3 year old Bantam Langshan, who has never been broody but seems to go through hormonal changes in that she decides she is going to 'protect and feed' the flock and takes on a few rooster characteristics and then after a few days, goes back to her normal self [​IMG]
  3. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2014
    Humboldt, California
    Ok, thanks for the help. I don't think they're going into molt, and I'm pretty sure she's not broody either, but she's always been rather skittish. But the submissive hen has never been a very good layer anyway so she might just be taking a break. I still hate seeing them so unhappy, but hopefully they'll return to normal as you say.[​IMG]
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do they have plenty of room?
    Pecking orders can change.
  5. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 23, 2014
    Possibly putting them all together instead of in pairs may help. Normally if a bully is removed from the group for a few days then re-introduced the bully is then at the bottom of the pecking order.

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