New pullet laying....old hen now very aggressive toward pullet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bhaugh, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. bhaugh

    bhaugh Songster

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    I thought my pullet laying her first eggs would be a great time to rejoice. It has taken a turn however that I wasnt planning for. The top hen, who just finished her molt, has taken it upon herself to single this poor pullet out and attacks her whenever she can. She literally jumps on the young pullet and beats her up pecking at her head. It's gotten pretty bad and I'm now thinking of rehoming the older bird.

    If Jedi (the new layer) isnt available, she will peck at the other pullet and yesterday pecked right at Ruthie's eye. I used to think that Helen (the older hen) was keeping Jedi in line but now Jedi isnt doing anything to Helen to warrant the aggression. Is it common for new layers to be treated this way?

    My pen that the girls are in is 7'x13' covered with two roosts and one nest box. Plenty of space for the 3 gals I have.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013

  2. GreenSahara

    GreenSahara In the Brooder

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    It sounds like your older hen is exhibiting rooster-like behavior. This can happen when there is an absence of a rooster in the flock. When their aren't any roosters, hens will take his position. Any chances you could add a rooster to your flock?
     
  3. bhaugh

    bhaugh Songster

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    Unfortunately I cannot have a rooster where I am. Will the older hen stop the behavior? Or is she destined for a rehome?
     
  4. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Crowing

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    Well I have 3 older hens and I bought new pullets this year.The older ones did the same thing trying to kill them or what ever. I would separate them till the pullets are bigger.If you put a fence between the new ones and old ones then they might get more used to each other.That way they can see each other but can't really hurt them like they were.
     
  5. bhaugh

    bhaugh Songster

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    the pullets are twice the older hens size. They both tower over her and could easily squash her if they sat on her.
     

  6. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Crowing

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    Well I would say that she is just making sure they don't steal her spot on the peaking order.
     

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