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Rooster behavior in my hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hennotrooster, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Songster

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    So one of my first hens had taken (immediately) the place of our roo when he became soup. She has been segregated since she had not only taken his place she became very aggressive now one of our newer hens has started to do the same thing. Is this common hen behavior and must I just look the other way to it?
     

  2. debid

    debid Crowing

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    Define "very aggressive".

    Any change to the population causes a disturbance and when it's the top bird that goes, you can expect some chaos since they all will reestablish their rank. Positions may change and it can be rather unpleasant to watch but unless they are hurting each other, your best bet is to leave them to work it out.

    Also, consider that the top hen must thwart challenges fromALL the rest so that can make her seem more aggressive. No blood, no plucking, no foul.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree, what type of behavior are we talking about? Please be more specific.
     
  4. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

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    This sort of thing does happen when there is no male in the pen. I actually had a hen once who started crowing, I kid you not.

    I know, I know, old wives tale, but it's true. This was a pen of Dutch Bantam hens, older birds who'd been on their own for over a year with no male. The bird in question was very dominant, and may have even had some sort of hormonal issue, as she had a small spur on one leg. One day I went out to feed and water and heard a rusty sort of crowing coming from the pen. Now, there were no other pens anywhere near this one, and at first I thought I was losing it. I called my daughter over and she heard it too. We peeked our heads around and sure enough, a tiny little Dutch hen was crowing. So funny, wish I'd gotten it on video, but it was some years ago before I had an iPhone...
     
  5. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Songster

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    Rachel was not only mounting she was plucking feathers and did draw blood on the face of one of the younger hens not to mention she did not want to let them eat. Once she was gone her sister calmed down and feeding time was calm again. With Rachel in the yard there was constant stress. The four young hens were constantly on the run from her. So she was removed for 4 days where she could not be seen or heard but when brought back into the flock it was as if she had never left. Did this again but for a longer period of time same situation. So we set up a section of the chicken yard just for her. Now we are noticing that Gabby one of the younger hens has started this same behavior. What is funny is that Rachel will drop her wing and do the little roo dance when I go into her yard, not crowing yet. What she was doing was opening up her tail feathers and squatting when I went in but that has changed for about 2 weeks now. Maybe we should just get a roo. Oh and she has not laid in 2 wks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  6. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Songster

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    These are the younger hens the second one from the left is Gabby she is starting to mount her sisters as well. Let them all out to wander the property today Rachel still holds her position.
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    This is Rachel she is the one that is acting as a roo completely minus the crowing she drops that wing and does a roo dance as well as any roo. Started to do this two weeks ago and quit laying at the same time. Her sister is the only that she does not mount nor pick at.
     
  7. Cknldy

    Cknldy Songster

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    In december I read an article in a magazine that surprised me so much. A dominate hen will act like a roo when no roo is present for a while. Mounting, crowing and protecting like a roo are all characteristic of what I read about. Even if you were to introduce an actual roo to the flock she may fight him for dominance since she took over a roo's role.
     

  8. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Songster

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    I sure hope not since we have been discussing getting another roo in an effort to calm her and the other one that is acting up. Gabby was only around our roo for about a month when he became soup. He was attacking my FIL and me. Surprisingly Rachel went back into her yard and the others into theirs. I usually have to put her into her yard.
     
  9. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Songster

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    She started to lay again and is now acting like a hen with me. She flip flops in her behavior with me but stays the same with the girls.
     
  10. debid

    debid Crowing

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    I wouldn't put too much stock in that article. There are lots of folks with all-hen flocks where none of them mount or crow. We had a rooster and when he was removed, the hens had a shake up of the order. Some of his duties are now shared (keeping a lookout on the sky, calling when food is located, herding wanderers, etc.) but never have any of them crowed nor do they mount or dance.

    Oh, and one of the hens used to fight him for dominance even though they were raised together. He didn't take the challenges very seriously and she backed down every time. Some hens are just full of themselves.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

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