Really mean chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KDOGG331, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    So I have one chicken who is just so mean!!!

    I thought maybe it was my fault since they outgrew their spaces quickly but even the few times I have let them free range she is mean!

    She flies out of nowhere and attacks the others, usually over food but often for seemingly no reason.

    She is a Black Australorp and seems to mostly pick on my poor Buff Orpingtons. We have 8 chickens.


    The weird thing is sometimes she and the others seem to get along but I am sure they are stressed out.

    For instance, I was holding an Orpington the other day and she came out of nowhere and pecked her hard on the head! I shooed her off then gave chase. She ran away but later came back and did it again. Gave chase again. The poor Orp then settled into my lap and did not want to leave once she realized I would protect her.

    I think it is just one chicken but we have 2 Black Australorps so I can't really tell for sure. I can tell them apart now though so will watch.

    They are only 24 or 25 weeks old.

    I want to see how she behaves in the new, much bigger coop and run, but if she wont change I don't want to.

    She also consistently pecks me (so do the others so not sure if mean or not) and has pecked me on the elbow and drawn a bit of blood, on the gums last week, and in my eye today.

    My dad wants to kill her. Literally.

    If we do that, should I wait for her to grow out some more or just kill her ASAP?

    I am reluctant because she does seem scared of me, maybe because I bully her sometimes, but I have been trying to be nice to her for a while now and she hasn't changed.

    But they are supposed to be the best layers but I feel she is causing stress in the flock.

    We also have another one so I don't know if I should cull both since sometimes they gang up but I really think it is majority one chicken.

    I love them all but should I just cull her?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    She is reaching sexual maturity, sometimes they get moody and bossy, same as human teenagers. They often will settle down after they begin laying eggs and hormones even out. Many times it's just all noise and no one is getting hurt. Do you have adult birds or a rooster? Both will often step in and discipline a rowdy teenager. I would wait it out.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I neverr thought of it like that before, that's a good point. Thank you!! I'm pretty sure she is laying though and has for maybe a week or 2 but maybe she's just still hormonal and needs to settle down? We don't have any roosters or adults since we have close neighbors in the back and these are our first chickens. I'm glad you said this because someone said to kill her and I was ready to, even if it meant being in tears the whole time. So I will wait until she has been laying a while and has more space and give her another chance. Thank you. Although what's weird is none of the others are mean like that, just her. But I guess like teenagers, some behave, some don't. I will definitely wait it out and give her another chance. What if she still doesn't improve though?
     
  4. Chkinkeeper7474

    Chkinkeeper7474 Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree. I would give a second chance and see if she calms down. Especially if these are your first chickens I wouldn't be making any hasty decisions. But if she doesn't change unless you want to deal with a terror I suggest you just cull her. She does not respect you or her flock mates and just wants to hunt every one down. That is not a good behavior to have in a flock. On the other hand update us when you move her! Im sure a bigger space will probably do her lots of good.
     
  5. pineapple416

    pineapple416 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Mottled Javas got very bossy and around the time they started laying eggs, so I think you should give her some time to settle down. Also this is something I saw on a blog called Tilly's nest, pinless peepers. They are supposed to fix bad behavior. They narrow the chickens vision, but they can still eat and drink and live their normal lives. There kind of like chicken glasses from what I hear. I know you can order them for a few dollars at Murray McMurray's hatchery website. I have never tried this, so it is just an idea. You could also separate her from the rest of the flock by giving her her own enclosure or run to live in until she calms down, but to where she could still see her flock so she doesn't get lonely.
    Here's a picture of the pinless peepers
    [​IMG]
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thank you! You're definitely right, I wouldn't want to cull her and then regret it. Especially since I wasn't sure if all of her pecks were mean, like the eye thing was maybe cause it's shiny? But she had flown on my leg then my shoulder and I was feeding her and the others some kale when I looked at her and she pecked me. And then when I tried to get her off to get out she just rolled onto my back and wouldn't get off. Finally shook her loose. She likes being higher than anybody. So maybe that is a bad thing? And I'm gonna stop letting them climb all over me. But I will give her one more chance and if she doesn't improve then she is gone. Obviously her pecking me is bad but I can find a way to deal with it, like wearing goggles or something, and she actually seems kinda scared when I get mad at her, like didnt mean to?, but I won't stand for her terrorizing the others so if that doesn't improve then she'll be gone. But I do think the bigger space will help. And maybe the fact that it's a new space they all have to get used to? I am hoping that will help and if that doesn't help then I'll actually give her 3 chances meaning I'll try separating her from the flock for a week and if she still doesn't improve, it's over. But I am really hoping that she will because she's very pretty and I think lays well and seems very curious about me, just takes it too far. I hope she can improve so I don't have to cull her
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thank you! I think I will wait to do anything until we build the new coop and give her another chance. Hopefully she settles down. I may look into those peepers too! Thanks! If moving to the new coop doesn't solve it I'll try seperating her. Right now we have nowhere to put her but once we build the new coop I can leave their old coop set up. And put her in it.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    She sounds bossy dominant, I wouldn't let her climb on you anymore and I might start chasing her away. Since you have no adult chickens you will have to play that roll. Sometimes it helps to pin them down for a few moments to the ground. There's also a desire at that age to be mated so she could be looking to be dominated a bit.
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks. I'll definitely stop letting her climb on me. I used to chase her away some but then I thought maybe she was being mean to me out of defensive, like because she was scared of me cause I chased her, but I will start chasing again. I mean, maybe it would be good for her to be scared temporarily while she learns, she certainly has my Orpingtons scared. So would an adult chase her and enforce rules and all this? I have never officially pinned her but recently I have put my hand over her when she os being bad and she squats and I do that a bit then let her go. And hm, never thought of that. I'm definitely going to start enforcing some rules. Should I stop letting the others climb on me too? No one else really seems to besides sometimes wanting to be in my lap. It's just her and sometimes one Easter Egger who want to be high up
     

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