Please help me decode some weird chicken behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cicene mete, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need the chicken whisperer. My one 21-week-old EE has always been yappy, but lately she started this incessant and loud bwaaaaaak bwaaaak-ing, which is enough to make me want to [​IMG]. She is also making a little nests in the shavings and sitting there by herself. I went to pet her to see if she was doing "the squat," and she did everything people say except her tail was down (I guess she's just not that into me [​IMG]).

    All of a sudden, the bird at the bottom of the pecking order, a 21-week-old BO ran in and pecked a couple of feathers right out of her neck. I was [​IMG]. The aggressor was the runt and has never been aggressive towards any of the birds. A little later, the EE was nesting and the BO went after her again! Both times, the EE did a face-off with the BO and the little BO quickly backed down and ran into her hiding place. [​IMG]

    So what the heck is going on?
     
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like they're re-arranging pecking order, and it sounds like they are about to start laying if they haven't already.

    Don't be alarmed. They'll sort it out all by themselves, and then settle back down. Hens will fight and scuffle, but rarely do each other any serious harm.

    In the unlikely event that one of them is injured, you may need to separate them until she heals, but then they'll probably start over again. If needed, Bag Balm on pecked areas (I only do this if there's actual injury, like a raw or bleeding spot) usually prevents further pecking, as they don't like the taste or texture of it. Messy, but effective.
     
  3. mksenoj

    mksenoj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with above
     
  4. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No eggs yet, just a lot of strange behavior and interest in the nest boxes. I put some ping-pong balls in there, and they were fascinated, staring and investigating for hours.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  5. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Quote:No eggs yet, just a lot of strange behavior and interest in the nest boxes. I put some ping-pong balls in there, and they were fascinated, staring and investigating for hours.

    Ping-pong balls, Maybe they were trying to figure out whos serve it was. lol [​IMG]
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    [​IMG]

    Mine got all grumpy when the majority of them started laying. They got over it in a short amount of time.
    If they're not drawing blood, let them figure it out.
     
  7. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    PMS
     
  8. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's what my wife said. [​IMG]
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    They're probably re-establishing their pecking order. If you see blood, not good, then you might want to put the aggressor in lockup.
     
  10. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I agree with the previous posts - they are establishing pecking order.

    But one thing I would recommend.... if they appear to be making nests outside the nest box, pick them up and put them in the nest box anytime you catch them. You want to teach them to do that IN the nest box. Breaking them of laying outside the nest box can be challenging - it's much easier to nip it in the bud in the beginning.

    Best of luck,
    Penny
     

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