One of our hens has suddenly became really mean to another

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by battagliac, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. battagliac

    battagliac Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 3 hens that are just about 20 weeks (should be laying soon :). They are our first, and we got them at about 3 weeks and raised them. They live in the side alley with chicken wire ceiling and door and a decent coop. They have always seemed to get along fine, but suddenly one hen is terrorizing another. It pecks its head all the time, drives it under the coop into a dark corner behind the back leg of coop, doesn't let it eat nearby, and forces it onto the floor in the roost area at night. To make things worse the abused hen screams for its life. She now spends its days on top of the coop to avoid the abuser. We put water and food up there for her. I think they are Americana or Easter Eggers--all are brownish and two have beards, but the abuser has a gold head, no beard, more of a hawkish look. I used to think it looked cool, but now I think it looks mean :0. It seems like it started when I was in there with them the other day and picked up the abused hen to check her wings (thinkn of clipping them), out of nowhere, the abuser ran over and nailed the one I'm holding in the head and ripped out a bunch of feathers. Since that time, it just stalks the other now as described. I tried picking up the abuser and giving her equal or more attention but doesn't help. I split the food, etc. Is this normal behavior to establish dominance? I am pretty sure it is not a rooster, I've been researching that. Any advice or wisdom out there? Thanks. Charlie & Mitsuyo
     

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