My little madam is getting a bit grumpy!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chickybok, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Chickybok

    Chickybok Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2015
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    Hi All

    I've got 4 adorable chooks - 2 x Shavers and 2 x Araucanas. One of my Araucanas (Beatrice) is getting a bit pecky. I know she's the boss, she came in and pretty much put a sign up to say I'm the Boss! And has been fine with the other 3 up until last night.... she was jumping on one's back and pecking, and stealing food (that's normal she's a bit of a food stealer) and just being a grumpy little madam.

    Do I put it down to her having a bad day? Or do I have to separate her from the other girls for a couple of days? She doesn't know how to work the chooketeria, so she might be getting grumpy from being hungry. But the other girls DO know how to work it, and when they open it to go for a feed, Beatrice just pecks them out of the way! But of course as soon as she pecks them out of the way the lid closes! She hasn't quite made that connection yet bless her.

    I don't want to put her in chicken prison for a day if I don't have to.... they have plenty of room to run around, a chicken jungle gym, I hide treats around the run and they get fed better than my hubby. lol. What do I do?

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! Was Beatrice just added to your birds? Integrating birds can be a long process and can take some time to get everyone living happy together. They have the pecking order to sort out. When you say she was jumping on a back was to assert authority? You don't think she could be a roo and trying to mate? Just a thought with your saying that.
    You could also drop by the behaivour section for more help form other members, here is the link ~https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/18/chicken-behaviors-and-egglaying

    Good luck and I hope Beatrice settles down :frow
     
  4. Kmack

    Kmack Out Of The Brooder

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    I've got a very grumpy alpha hen as well but I can't blame it on being hungry! It's only been 1.5 weeks so I'm going to see how it goes over the next week and if she doesn't chill out and stop making everyone so miserable I may sell her to another loving home.... the 2nd in command would make for a much more reasonable ruler I think.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I think some hens are just mean. I had an alpha hen that was a real darling - just a gentle chest bump was the most any subordinates got, but my new alpha hen is a bit more direct - fuelled by the fact that she has 8 chicks - in fact she's an absolute tinker at the moment!

    CT
     
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Are they pullets approaching point of lay? They can get a bit of a teenage girl attitude with horomones raging as adolescents lol ;) Give them time and they'll calm down and establish their pecking order as they begin to lay.

    If they're already laying, then she is just being what I like to call a "biddy" ha-ha.. Just a moody hen, it happens ;)
     
  7. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Chickybok

    Chickybok Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2015
    New Zealand
    Hi, my two shavers are the young ones (about 24 weeks) and we've had them since they were about 10 weeks old (just them two). I introduced the two Araucanas 3 weeks ago, who came from a big flock and are about 8 months old so are already laying (you see the green eggs, they are beautiful!). So the young ones were already settled into home, and the older ones were taken away from their home turf. But because the young ones aren't laying yet, I thought they wouldn't be too territorial (and they're not).

    I did a slow and careful introduction, and the young ones were just like "hey, new friends! good to have you here!". The other Araucana (Lossey) is just in Chillsville. She just blended in straight away.... she loves hanging with the young ones, she sometimes hangs out with Beatrice, she picks her spot in the coop at night and she's happy. Even when the young ones are being all cheeky and energetic, Lossey just seems to say "yeah ok, cool man, whatever". hahaha

    Beatrice! Well she's been doing fine for a couple of weeks and has only just started getting pecky. Does it take 2 weeks to sort the pecking order? I thought that would be straight away?

    I'm not sure if she's just hungry.... so last night I fed Beatrice her own meal and the other 3 had their own. Then of course curiosity kicks in and they all want to know what's in the other food bowls but I let Beatrice have a good feed on her own before the young ones started at her bowl. I watched them for most of the rest of the evening and apart from a few pecks here and there, she seemed ok. And they all went off up to bed ok.

    So if it is just hunger, Beatrice needs to work out how to use the feeder. But then also, I don't want her to be lonely because the more she pecks at the others, the less they want to hang out with her!

    Thanks for everyone's replies and help! I love hearing everyone else's chook stories! And thanks for the link Yorkshire Coop... I'll have a read through that today :)
     
  9. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    If you believe it could all be over food I would have food available for them at all times in their feeders. I would also add another feeder so no one can be bullied out of eating. An extra water station would be helpful too. I've added 2 pullets to my hens and they have been together for well over a month now and the pullets are still scared to death of the hens, I still have 2 feeders and 2 water stations in their run as the hens chase them off. If I didn't have 2 of each in there the top hens would have starved them out of the flock by now.

    How you have described things now it sounds just like normal pecking order behaivour that could continue for a while to come. The leaders still need to keep their position in the flock so assert this authority over the others with pecks and reminders.
     
  10. Chickybok

    Chickybok Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2015
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    Hmmm.... I need to train Beatrice to use the feeder. The others have worked it out (it was such a cute thing to see when the youngest one finally clicked the connection between putting her foot on the pedal and the lid opening!!). Maybe I can leave one out in the grassed area and I leave the other one near the coop.
    Here is the feeder they currently have: https://www.tradetested.co.nz/chooketeria-original.html

    I don't like leaving too much food out (just the odd hidden treats) as it just gets eaten by the pigeons and sparrows. And I HATE pigeons.

    I might get another water dispenser too, although there don't seem to be any problems with that it would be good to have one out in the run.

    Maybe it is just normal pecking order, and I'm being overly protective over my girls because I just want them all to be one big happy family! When I get home from work and they see my car pull into the driveway, the welcoming party is quite endearing really! There's no bickering then because they know it's tea time haha!
     

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