Picking on the broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RosanneH, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. RosanneH

    RosanneH Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2014
    Ovilla, Texas
    I have a sweet flock of 6 hens. One is broody and has been on her clutch for a week and a half. When she gets off for food, etc., the other girls pick on her terribly. Is this normal? She was not the one at the bottom of the order before.
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
    Unfortunately it happens. When I have a hen that gets too aggressive, I lock her away until the broody hatches. With my serama I put food and water on a ledge out of reach of the bigger hens. Chickens bullying is normal.
  3. NewFlockOnTheBlock

    NewFlockOnTheBlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2017
    Washington State
    We're having the same problem with our first-ever broody hen. She was in the middle of the pecking order prior to going broody. The first time we saw her get off the nest, around Day 7, and join the other chickens outside, several hens ganged up on her and unfortunately our rooster didn't seem to know to intervene and break it up. She spent about an hour outside but was mostly off to the side scratching around by herself; when she got too close to the other chickens, they pecked her. She climbed back into the nest box eventually.

    Since then I only saw her get off the nest once, to eat from the feeder in the coop. She didn't go outside that time, just ate and got back on the nest. I've heard that a chicken that was separated from the flock can be the target of aggression once they are reintroduced, but she is sitting right there in everyone else's plain view, with other chickens laying in the adjacent nest box, so why are they doing this? Also, does aggression now mean that it's going to be the same, or worse, once she (hopefully) hatches her chicks and try to rejoin the flock with them?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by