Pecking order.... help !

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by EasternTNfarm, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. EasternTNfarm

    EasternTNfarm Hatching

    Jul 30, 2014
    We have 6 (hens) New Hampshire Reds that are about 6 months old. They started laying about a month ago and we are very excited. Within the past week we noticed that one hen is getting "picked" on. We have noticed that some of her back feathers are being "cut" in half. No blood but the flock is getting a little more aggressive against her. We have decided to separate her from the flock. I have a few questions that I hope we can get help with.

    1) When the "picked on" hen is removed will another one take her place and get picked on as well?
    2) The picked on hen is aggressive towards us. Why?
    3) Won't the picked on hen get lonely?
    4) Does aggressiveness and egg laying go hand in hand? Meaning do hens feel the need to protect her eggs?

    Any other advice would be great...

    Thank you!!!!
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Crowing

    Apr 3, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! I would not separate her. I'd take the meanest hens and put them in a different cage. I don't know why she 'd be aggressive toward you. Yes, the picked on hen will probably get lonely. No, aggressiveness and egg laying do not go hand in hand. If they are broody then they get aggressive, but they probably aren't broody. The picked on hen could be replaced if you separate her. The "picked on" hen actually could be creating these fights. If she's aggressive then she might be bringing it on herself. I actually think it might be better to just keep them all together and just see what happens. This might be a short time thing. It also might be that there's not enough room in the coop. How big is it? How many chickens do you have?
  3. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    It is all par course. Someone will be at the top and someone has to be at the bottom. The deck is constantly challenged and shuffled as one may get weak due to age, health etc.

    As long as it is not life or eath fights, it is better to leave her in.

    Keeping the low bird (or top bird) out might have her facing even tougher time when re-introduced back to the flock.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: