My laying hen is being aggressive and nasty!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by missypebble, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. missypebble

    missypebble Chillin' With My Peeps

    141
    3
    101
    Mar 11, 2011
    One of my BO is being really aggressive for the past several weeks with the other BO, who stays in the same coop with her. I later found out the aggressive BO was trying to lay an egg. She tried for the first couples of times but nothing happened then she laid her first egg several days ago. Ever since the hot weather has been taken over for months, I have them stay inside, in a coop. My guess is the BO wants some privacy whenever she tries to lay her egg so she's been pecking at the other constantly, not allowing her to eat the same food and whenever she has a chance, continue to peck the other. Yesterday, I came home and the hen somehow got out of the coop and laid an egg on the floor. The other time, as soon as I got home from work and let them out in the yard, she immediately ran into a backyard bush and stayed for at least 2 hours, and that was when she laid her first egg.

    For the time being, I can't separate them because I don't have an extra coop. What should I do? My other BO is loosing some weigh as she isn't able to eat/ drink much and I'm really worried. She's a really docile and super sweet hen. I just don't want things to get worse and she will soon get serious injury.

    Any suggestion on what I should do with the aggressive BO? How do I calm her? Is she being this aggressive mainly because she's during her initial stage of egg laying? Will she eventually calm down?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Are these your only two hens? How much room do they have during the day? Should be at least 20 square feet. Perhaps they are confined in too small of a space for too long. That combined with extra stress of new hormones and the desire for a private spot to lay.
     
  3. missypebble

    missypebble Chillin' With My Peeps

    141
    3
    101
    Mar 11, 2011
    I have a total of 3 hens - the older hen, RIR, she stays in her own coop. And the other coop is shared by the two BO hens. You are right, I think I need to get a dog crate and put one in there to separate them.

    Thank you for the reply!!! Also, I notice my laying BO has purplish color on the tip of her comb for the past 2 days, what does this mean? Is she getting sick?
     
  4. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    2
    121
    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    Maybe it's a bruise from getting pecked?
     
  5. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

    2,891
    645
    251
    Apr 7, 2010
    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    My suggestion would be to build them a secure run so that there is space to get out of each others way. Small coop equals cabin fever and crabby chickens. You can have a watering station in the run and also some food in there during the day. You can also try adding extra protein to their diet for a week or so and see if that helps. You can try putting a Flock Block in the coop (if you have room) or hang a piece of it in a suet feeder attached to the wall. Make sure they have free choice oyster shell and such for laying hens.
     
  6. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    The purple comb is not a good thing and could be heat/electrolyte problem or circulatory problems...keep a particularly close eye on that one. Make sure they have shade mid day and plenty of cool water.
     
  7. missypebble

    missypebble Chillin' With My Peeps

    141
    3
    101
    Mar 11, 2011
    Thank you for all of your feedbacks - I greatly appreciate it! I'll need to watch closely to the hen - I just hope I can help her.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by