nest bully

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lavandula girl, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. lavandula girl

    lavandula girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do any of you have hens who don't like the other hens to lay? I recently acquired 5 laying hens. The Australorp has been a trooper, and given me 4 eggs this week, despite the move, new coop, unfamiliar surroundings, and nasty cold weather. One of the other girls has contributed one egg to the collection. Otherwise, no one is giving up the goods yet. BUT, the Australorp is 4th on a 5 hen pecking order, and #1 (the Barred Rock) and #3 (the EE) go chase her out of the coop if they know she's about to lay an egg. She can't make any noise, and has to trick them into letting her in there. (Pretty funny, actually... she goes and eats at the BR's favorite feeder, which draws the BR over there to chase her away. Then, while Brunhilda the BR is eating, Black Adder the BA sneaks into the coop!)

    Anyway... long story longer... is this a normal hen thing? They don't just chase her out of her fave spot (under the nexting boxes [​IMG]), but they harrass her right out of the coop.
  2. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2008
    Unfortunately, hens can be pretty brutal with one another. Moreover, Australorps are notoriously passive. I have one little EE who gets chased right off the roost at night and ends up sleeping on the hay.

    I have learned that you cannot reason with a chicken [​IMG], but there are some strategies that you can employ: exclusion and domination. For me, they work sometimes and not others.

    Exclusion: if you have one bird who seems to pick on the others a lot, you can separate that bird for a day or so. By making the bully the outsider, you will usually find that when you reintroduce it, it will be lower on the pecking order.

    Domination: pick up the bully. Carry her around. I made the mistake of carrying around the under-bird, thinking I was comforting her. In fact, I was making matters worse. Now, I pick up the dominant birds, and it seems to have made a difference... not a huge difference, but definitely a difference.

    Hope this helps!
  3. lavandula girl

    lavandula girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! I'm not too worried about it, since the Australorp does find a way, eventually, to leave her egg. I do know that one of the other girls laid one with hers, so at first I thought they might just be impatient to get into the choicest spot and get to work, but no such luck. I was just wondering if anyone else had hens who like to harrass the layers, or if Brunhilda and Max were just gangbanger chickens.

    Wish I knew who laid the other one, but really, it could be anyone. Well, maybe not the EE, since it was just a shade darker than the Australorp's pink/brown one, but could have been the GLW, the BR or the RS.

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