Pecking Order - Weird (?) Behavior

ChristieDB

Chirping
Mar 17, 2018
60
44
91
Statesboro, Georgia
We introduced 11 chicks into our flock this year. We did everything by the book. Our established flock of five girls adjusted well with one exception. Marta is on the low end of the pole nd she seems to go after the babies (now 13weeka old) the worst. HOWEVER we have recently noticed that Maria who is the matriarch has become increasingly aggressive with Marta. Mounting her, pulling feathers, Etc... the original five have been tofu for 2.5 years- why this behavior now and should I break it up??? Marta has been a bully to the babies but I really feel nearly about how aggressive Maria is being towards her!!
Thanks
 

ChristieDB

Chirping
Mar 17, 2018
60
44
91
Statesboro, Georgia
We did that- and Marta has gotten a lot better, they stay clear and she just does normal things now as far as - “remember I’m older than you”. The Maria thing is new. That’s why it’s weird. They’ve been together For over two years!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,230
37,058
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Adding chicks does weird things to hens - most won't be bothered much at all, but some will act up. It's very normal for a low ranked bird to act more aggressively towards the chicks (my guess is, they don't want to fall in rank even more, so feel the need to assert themselves over the chicks).

My head hen even spontaneously grew spurs the previous time I added chicks!

If Maria is not actually hurting Marta to point of injury, I'd let them sort it out themselves. Eventually things will settle down into a new sort of normal.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,714
147,799
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Adding chicks does weird things to hens - most won't be bothered much at all, but some will act up. It's very normal for a low ranked bird to act more aggressively towards the chicks (my guess is, they don't want to fall in rank even more, so feel the need to assert themselves over the chicks).
This^^^ plus I think the low bird is just glad to finally have someone to beat on :gig

Pecking order is fluid and often changing.
Hopefully they have lots of space and will work it out without injury.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom