Need a bit of help understanding the pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MsChickenMomma, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    For years I have raised chickens, and I have always had a rooster. Up until two months ago. We just moved into the city limits and sadly could not take our rooster with us. My rooster was always top of the pecking order, but he was never overly bossy or mean to the girls.

    Now that I know longer have a rooster, one of my hens took the role of "top hen." She is starting to get really bossy. She likes to pull the other girls out of the nest boxes, she has pulled out most of the feathers on the top of my Black Australorp's head, and she chases the other girls all over the coop. I even watched her try to mount one of the girls yesterday. I'm sure this is all normal behavior, but I just want to be sure. Is it boredom, or is this really how hens act when there is no rooster around?

    I am going to buy a cabbage today and hang that up in the coop just in case it really is just boredom. It has been such a long winter, and they have been cooped up for so long, that I wouldn't be surprised if she is just acting out because she is bored.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If this has only been going on for a short while, I would wait and see if things settle down. Pecking orders take a bit of time to sort out.

    If it continues and gets worse, you can take the bossy hen out of the mix, isolate her out of sight for a week, and when she returns, some other hen may have the new confidence to put her in her place.

    The best thing to do, however, is nothing. Try to be patient and let things work themselves out before you try to intervene, perhaps causing even more problems than you now have.
     
  3. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you!
     

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