Need advice on chicken behavior; older chickens attack the young broody chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Aynur, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Aynur

    Aynur Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2014
    I have 6 backyard chicken at this moment. 3 years old , 3 speckle sussex. 6 months old , 1 australorp, 1 welsummer and 1 buff orphington. Speckle sussex are pretty much hand tamed, very social with people. Others little less. Speckle sussex are little harsh on the young ones. I let it be so they can establish hierarchy which they did.

    About 1.5 week ago, one of the young chicken, welsummer, start acting broody. I took the eggs from underneath, she still wants to sit all the time at one of the nest box. We gave them 5 more nest box, so it would not be issue. I take welsummer out of nest box, she drinks little bit, eats little bit and goes right back to nesting box with no egg under. I will put her broody cage with wire bottom tomorrow. But everytime when I took out of nesing box so she can eat, she has been attack by speckle sussex more than usual. they really go after her, she runs. They run after her.

    Why is that? They always see her, it is not like she is strange chicken. They sleep in the same coop, while welsummer still in the nest. Is that possible welsummer wants to be broody so she would not be attack? Do the sussex feel she is high in hormon , that's why they attack her? I am not sure what to do. Any experience? Any suggestion? I do not have rooster.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Were the youngers birds added after you'd had the older birds?
    Sometimes broodies are harassed by the flock because they are acting differently.
    Could be the Wellie is hiding in the nest from the bullying and not broody.
    Might be good to isolate the aggressive bird for a time out, see if that changes the Wellies behavior
     
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  3. Aynur

    Aynur Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the answer. Yes, younger ones joined 4 months ago after introduction period. They were ok.. Then I have seen they pick on Hazel. the one is acting broody. She had patch of feather loss at top of her head. I wondered about that , if she is in the nest, because maybe it is the only time she is not being attacked. Then, today I put her vegetable garden, separate from others. All she wanted to do get out and go directly to the empty nest after couple of sip water.

    But, after your suggestion, it may make sense. I might separate the lead attacker, Derya, to the vegetable garden. See if Hazel wants to hang around more. She was pairing before with one of the young chicken as well, now acting all alone.

    I can put her broody pan with wire bottom but I am afraid others will not see her for a while and they may attack more once she is ready to join to flock.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That's why I put the broody crate right in the coop and let them out once or twice a day.


    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Aynur

    Aynur Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Ok. I have separated the nasty 2 ones for a while in vegetable garden. I put her outside, she hanged out little bit. Went back to nest. I did other way around. 2 attackers are in the yard, others in vegetable garden. She hanged around little more. Then she start pacing in front of the fence. Then she went to roosting 3 times. Out, roosting, out, roosting. And she ended up in the nest again. Now I did what you suggested. Flat bottom, wire dog cage. Water in it for over night. I will put her in vegetable garden again with other 3, so she can not go to nest. See, if there is any improvement. I feel like she lost weight. Her crop is empty. 1.5 week now. I hope this wire cage will resolve the problem and they will go back to normal packing order.
     
  6. Aynur

    Aynur Out Of The Brooder

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    Another question. Maybe I am not doing right. They always have their organic layer food , oyster shell and stone are available in the coop. They free range at backyard. I also give some vegetable mix, dry worm, scratch food, cooked rice with dry herbs, cayenne pepper and calendula, marigold in the morning as treat. My husband thinks , maybe we are creating this attacking behavior becasue of the treat. They are not crazy about everything I give, but they eat during the day. Should not I give , so they would not hover the food? Old ladies normally chase the young ones if I give any treat. Or should I just give separate like the dogs who wants to protect his food? Do you give daily treats?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd cut out all the treats, except the 'dried' worms (if they are mealworms).......or feed a higher protein feed.
    Multiple feed/water stations, placed far apart, when adding new birds assures that the newbies get enough food/water.
     
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  8. Aynur

    Aynur Out Of The Brooder

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    I will do it... Thank you very much...

    She stayed in the broody crate over night in the coop with others. And as soon as I put her out in the yard, she was attacked again. :-( Their food sources is in the coop with pipe tube. They do not eat much of that food. Maybe because they get too much treat and they forage in the backyard. No more treats for them except dry mealworms.
     
  9. Aynur

    Aynur Out Of The Brooder

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    Yaaay. Good news. 2 nights in the broody crate in the coop, morning let her go with others... She is broken of broodiness. I do not see attack. She joined back to young ones... And other 2 attackers seem to be normal. I cut down their treat. Only giving dry mealworms. Thank you very much...
     

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