Please Help - Aggressive Hen

PDXchickenmom

In the Brooder
Jul 29, 2020
13
12
26
Hello Chicken People - I am posting this with the hope that someone can help me with my flock. I have 4 EEs. Two are 2.5 years old and two are approx. 6 months old. One of the older hens, Harriet, had an impacted crop earlier this week so I brought her in for about 3 days while she recovered. She is recovered fine (crop is empty each morning), but she's become insanely aggressive towards the other 3 birds. Harriet has always been the top hen but she's never been overtly aggressive before. Before this, she had been the sweetest one of the bunch.

Something has changed, though. Now, she chases all 3 hens. She has ripped out feathers and drew blood multiple times. I kept her isolated yesterday during the day (see but can't touch the others) and I let them free range together today. Today seemed a little better (no blood, at least), but when they went to roost, she would not stop. The little ones were so scared they left the coop. Since I didn't know what else to do, I brought Harriet in again. I know that might make it worse, but I didn't trust her or know what else to do.

Has anyone else experienced this? A previously very docile hen becoming aggressive over the span of a week? It's probably also important to note that Harriet did start her molt about 4 weeks ago.

How can I get her to calm down?

Thanks, in advance, for your help!
 

azygous

Enabler
Dec 11, 2009
21,575
28,970
1,012
Colorado Rockies
One word. No, two. Pinless peepers. Heard of them? They look like little eye specs for chickens. It cuts down on forward vision so the wearer can't see as much to do evil.

I have two Golden Sex Links, and just recently they both have begun to chase others and yank feathers. It's only been a few days, but the run is so much more peaceful now since I put peepers on both.

You might ask your local Tractor Supply to order some for you. My TSC manager asked me about them, as she was interested in carrying them. But I got mine off the internet many years ago. You need a snap ring pliers to install them. It's a pliers that works the opposite of regular pliers. I got mine at ACE Hardware.
 

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
4,155
8,298
446
Small town in Washington
Can we see a picture of this hen?
One word. No, two. Pinless peepers. Heard of them? They look like little eye specs for chickens. It cuts down on forward vision so the wearer can't see as much to do evil.
This is my opinion, I don't like them, they go in the chickens nostrils and it seems like that would affect there breathing, and they can hurt the chicken badly if used incorrectly. They seem mean I feel idk having that in the nostrils would hurt! Anyway, @Chicalina, do you have any suggestions?
 

FuzzyCritters

Songster
Mar 13, 2020
1,121
1,828
176
Kitsap county, WA
Sometimes molting can make hens more aggressive. Can you keep her isolated in the crate until her molt is over? She may calm down after that.

I agree with @Weeg on Pinless Peepers. Seems cruel to put them in the nostrils.
 

docteurmccoy

Songster
Nov 23, 2020
312
1,324
133
My Coop
I've not dealt with this but I've heard of folks isolating their "bully" hens for a couple days or so. Apparently it sort of resets the pecking order and when she's put back in she's at the bottom again, rinse repeat as needed. I've never tried it I've just read this tactic, so no idea. Figured worth mentioning though. Best of luck :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
90,139
111,885
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop

PDXchickenmom

In the Brooder
Jul 29, 2020
13
12
26
For some reason, I did not get notified that there were replies to this post! I wish I had seen these messages!

Update: Harriet (the aggressor) seemed to do a lot better over the next few weeks. We moved and it seemed like the two older hens (Harriet and Louise) did extremely poorly adjusting to the new environment. They both started their molt...hard. They're both nearly done with their molts, but Harriet is still acting strange. Tonight, she was frantic and making terrible noises. Something must be wrong with her. I think I'll take her to the vet this week if they can see her.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom