One bully in my flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bannerdb, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. bannerdb

    bannerdb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2011
    Donegal, Ireland
    Hi folks,

    New user here! Hope this question hasn't been addressed before. I am relatively new to keeping chickens. I have 3 hens in my back garden that I got about a month ago. In the last 2 weeks, on hen in particular has become quite aggressive with the other 2. She may be on one side of the pen and all of a sudden she will make a charge at one of the others and jump on them, flapping madly and sometimes a little pecking happens aswell. She then goes back to happily pecking away at the ground minding her own business. I see this at least twice a day.

    I am worried about this behaviour, as one of the other hens has now developed a limp and is considerably slower than the other 2. Im afraid this might have been caused by the bullying hen. The hen that is limping is fine otherwise. Not in any visible pain, and not off her food and can climb in and out of the coop, although a little slower than the rest! [​IMG]

    Is the charging and pecking a normal behaviour, or something that will become more problematic as time goes on if it isn't addressed?

    Cheers,

    Rory
     
  2. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    New to chickens as well, and have one of my hens in solitary confinement for the same thing. Except mine was going beyond what your has been doing......

    Can't bring myself to do the dirty deed, but would like to keep her as she is a good egg layer. She just started laying, and has been giving me an egg each day. She just can't play nice with others???

    I wish I had some advice to give you, but all I can do is offer the advice I was given from this forum, which in my case did not work.

    Solitary confinement for a week. Reintorduce to see if the behavior subsides, and new pecking order has been established?

    Spray bottle each time she acts out, spray her. Apparently they don't like this and may associate the water spraying with their bad behavior? Wish I had the time to try this one, as I think in my head it might work. Chickens from the little I know do learn that things repeat themselves. Mine know as soon as I start to unlock a latch, I am going inside the coop, as they all run in to greet me, or maybe just hope for treats. LOL

    Hope this helps,and good luck !! My other 6 get along fine other than a few mild scuffles......just the one who has since been named Ms Pissy!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  3. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    Bannerdb: That is just natural behavior. They are establishing the pecking order, especially if you've only had them for a month. The limp is probably not a problem, but check it just in case. I dont recommend solitary confinement or punishment unless the bullying get worse.
    Savingpurple: I recommend not using the spray bottle method unless you will be there every time, Otherwise you will only confuse them.
     
  4. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I do realize the spray bottle method for my situation would not work, due to exactly what you said! I work 2 jobs, and just don't have the time to do so! Thanks though:)
     

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