Our Brahma Hen's Alter Ego; Attack Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RedDrgn, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Our flock consists of 8 hens and 1 roo.

    Yesterday was worming day (oooh boy!), and the easiest way we've found to do this with any medication that can't be applied to the water is to catch each chicken, one by one, from the run, administer their dose in the garage, and then set them loose in the yard.

    We always start with our roo, because one peep of distress or bout of wing flapping from a hen and he goes crazy. We catch him, dose him, and keep him in the garage, bringing each hen in to dose them, and then turning them loose until the whole flock is done (and then we set the roo loose, too). That's how we proceeded yesterday...

    We were down to the last two hens (our BO and the younger of the 2 DOMs), and neither was in the mood to be caught and handled, so they made quite a ruckus. When I caught the BOand started to lift her, the our light brahma hen came running up on the other side of the run fence from me, all puffed up, standing tall, strutting, and growling, and then started pecking the fence trying to reach my hands. Once I secured the BO, I opened the run and stepped out and the brahma came running over (still puffed and strutting) and looked up at me, then locked eyes on my shin, pecked me (it didn't hurt, but she meant it) and continued to posture. The BO under my arm had calmed down by now and was doing nothing, so I reach down and patted the brahma's head and she "unpuffed", looked around like she didn't what she was doing, turned, and ran back into the yard where the rest of the flock (who had already been medicated) was hanging out.

    When I came back to collect the last hen, the brahma repeated the whole scene, but only postured and did not actually peck me. What I find even more interesting is that the brahma is dead last in our flock's pecking order. She may be the biggest (after our roo), but she's a huge sissy and takes it from every other chicken in the flock. What in the world possessed the aggressive display yesterday, apparently in defense of two flockmates (even though she was the first dosed and loose in the yard and didn't do this for every hen) is beyond me. Any ideas? She's pretty impressive looking when angry! XD
     
  2. ceceuu

    ceceuu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2014
    My LB is named Lisbon. She is so funny because I could think she was low in the pecking order because she is low on the roost and gets pecked but seldom pecks back. But what I have observed is that when another hen pecks her it doesn't seem to phase her. Sometimes when they face off she stands up really tall and looks down on the perpetrator, not backing down but not pecking either. It is kind of like a big person that lets the little person punch them until the little person realizes he is just hurting himself. The only hen I have ever seen her peck is a high status hen (Golden Laaced Wyandotte). The GLW, Charmaine, was being aggressive toward every other hen and all of a sudden Lisbon was claiming food territory and pecking Charmaine away from her piece of squash. She let all the other hens come and eat right next to her, especially the lower status hens. Lisbon doesn't seem to mind if other hens try and intimidate her - she just doesn't intimidate. And she is a gentle bird who doesn't pick on other hens either. She is so beautiful, huge and also lays really well - large eggs 4-5 days a week.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I have one hen that kind of gets upset when I'm handling another...not sure if she was wanting the attention or concerned about the handled hens squawking.
     

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