My Hen is Being Aggressive!

danielle2003

Songster
Apr 27, 2021
217
575
146
Rimrock, Arizona
I just put my chicks outside at night for the first time. They are 9 weeks old, so they are plenty old enough. The problem is that I have one aggressive hen who will chase them around the pen and grab hold of their feathers. She is so much bigger than them, and I know she will hurt them! My other 3 bigger hens seem to be doing fine with them....except her! I am keeping all four of my adult hens separated (except when they have to lay), but I would like to find a way for my aggressive hen to accept them. Thank you for your help!
 

All4Eggz

𝕁𝕖𝕤𝕦𝕤 + ℂ𝕙𝕚𝕔𝕜𝕖𝕟𝕤 = 𝓐𝓵𝓵 𝓘 𝓝𝓮𝓮𝓭
Premium Feather Member
Apr 23, 2021
2,515
6,542
541
Massachusetts
It may be hard for older birds to accept younger ones. I recommend keeping your aggressive hen in a wire cage somewhere where the chicks could see her, and she could see them, but she can't get to them.
After a few days, she should start getting used to them.
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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Moore County, NC
Is that hen the lowest of the pecking order? My low bird pecked at the chicks a lot. It's like she finally had someone lower than her, so she took advantage of that situation.
Agreed 100%! Same here. Never fails. Even the sweetest of hens tend to do this if they see the opportunity to move up the pecking order just a tiny bit. The bottom birds always act like this, in my experience
 

BrooksHatlen

Free Ranging
Jun 2, 2020
2,798
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Near Devil's Millhopper
Is that hen the lowest of the pecking order? My low bird pecked at the chicks a lot. It's like she finally had someone lower than her, so she took advantage of that situation.

Agreed 100%! Same here. Never fails. Even the sweetest of hens tend to do this if they see the opportunity to move up the pecking order just a tiny bit. The bottom birds always act like this, in my experience
It has been my observation, as well.
 

BrooksHatlen

Free Ranging
Jun 2, 2020
2,798
7,986
553
Near Devil's Millhopper
I guess this is as good a place as any to post this story. I didn't Integrate by the book but did follow the principle. First they were brooded in close enough proximity that they knew each other were there. I then moved on to holding one or two littles so the bigs could see them. Followed by supervised meet and greets in the yard. After some of that with no big issues, they had shared free time mostly un supervised. Today is day one of actually sharing the run. After a couple minutes of some chase and peck (the low hen still being the nasty one), the groups separated. Littles went up under the big's coop extention with the bigs enjoying the open part of the run. A few hens went in to inspect the little's coop (and eat the food, because that flock raiser must be better than their flock raiser). I think it has gone about as well as could be expected. It is now quiet out there, so either dead or they're working it out. I hope this helps someone, sometime.

Fun side story: A couple of days ago a cockerel thought he would challenge the rooster. The rooster tolerated it for a bit then *PECK*. It was funny to watch.
 

danielle2003

Songster
Apr 27, 2021
217
575
146
Rimrock, Arizona
Is that hen the lowest of the pecking order? My low bird pecked at the chicks a lot. It's like she finally had someone lower than her, so she took advantage of that situation.
I think she is. She has a few neck feathers missing, so I think the others pick on her a little bit. But she has also done her share of pecking as well. I really hope she changes her behavior towards them. I read that Buff Orpingtons are naturally docile, so they will become victims to relentless bullying.
 

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