Poor hen being attacked by drake

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by krebolo125, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. krebolo125

    krebolo125 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Hello

    I Have a flock of 14 chickens all different breeds. I also have 4 Cayuga ducks mixed in
    They have been living together for three years now and suddenly one of my drakes has decided to constantly attack my Polish hen. The poor thing will get singled out and pinned down! Other times he will chase her away from the door at bedtime. I don't get it?? Anyone ever experience this?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Polish are basically victims by design, they can't interact normally due to their hairdos. If you give her a mohawk, trim the sides so she can see clearly around, above and behind her, then she will be able to not only avoid conflict as it approaches, but respond to subtle body language signals that the drake may be giving her in warning.

    Animals can sometimes blow up without warning socially but generally there were subtle warning signs. With your Cayugas, perhaps he's just beginning to enter his full maturity and is trying to secure a breeding territory without superfluous mouths eating food his future offspring will need.

    Sometimes violence comes out of the blue in response to environmental pressures --- extra nutrition and keeping the pathogen and parasite levels down matter more than space per bird in my experience.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. krebolo125

    krebolo125 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Ok! Thanks! I will trim her doo and see if that helps her!
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Please let us know how it goes, lots of folks with Polish have the same problem as you have, or similar ones, but of course since Polish are kept for their hairdos not too many people are too keen to remove or alter their defining feature even if it will improve their quality of social life.

    Best wishes. Hope it helps.
     
  5. camire77

    camire77 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2014
    We had a pair of silkies and one of them had so many feathers on its head I was sure it could not see. As they grew that one remained smaller. Last week I we unfortunately lost our bigger on in a hail storm. The smaller one was all alone and really depended on the bigger one to get by. Well after that I was determined to give the little girl a trim. You wouldn't believe the turn around in attitude she has now. She is like a completely different chicken. She don't take crap from no one and doesn't mind throwing a few Pecks in at the Isa's that are twice her size and our Rouen ducks even. Good luck.
     
  6. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Going thru the same thing with two of my polish. Have the bully isolated in hopes that the pecking order will change. I cut my polish feathers and also put them up in little pony holders. Please keep me post.

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  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with camire77's post, it's very much identical to the experience my hens had; I've never had Polish but had mixed breed chickens with the same hairdo on them, and it did impact their quality of life very strongly... Everything from social standing and perception, to ability to forage or compete for the best treats like grasshoppers, etc... They were mentally 'quiet', no personalities, until trimmed, and man, what a change that made!

    First they would just stand and stare in wonder at the world around them, then they became bold, active and curious animals, developing lively personalities, taking higher social standing, becoming interested in the world around them which they could see almost nothing of before. Huge differences.

    Unfortunately Polish hens, or those with similar hairdos, are effectively living in 'blinkers' and it really does have a serious impact on them, even if they're caged and have everything 'on tap'. They are effectively only listening to the world, if the hairdo is thick and low enough, unable to see it. Their mentality and learning is limited by that. My Polish-hairdo-type hens used to be as silent as ghosts, to avoid attracting attention they couldn't see coming, walking around with their heads very low to try to see the ground, staying near walls so they could find their way around as they had no long range vision due to the eye muscles responsible for focus being weak due to lack of use, due to the feathers constantly preventing them from focusing on distant objects... Pretty tragic lives.

    Best wishes, hope it goes great for them.

    Fancypants1, good luck changing your bully, but if it fails I hope your trimmed Polish can change the status quo and put the bully in its place. I prefer to remove bullies permanently but each to their own.

    Best wishes.
     

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