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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stefmech, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. stefmech

    stefmech In the Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    I've got myself in a mess. I had 5 wonderful 6 week olds. They all love each other. No pecking order, yet. Share from the same bowl and sleep all snuggled together. Best of all the all love me.[​IMG]

    But, I just couldn't wait for eggs. I just couldn't be patient. [​IMG] I went and bought me a laying hen because I had to have eggs now! I just introduced her to my coop last week after she was quarantine. She now rules the coop with an iron wing. No one can eat till she gets her share. She doesn't like me - always screeches when I enter the coop. Worse is that she has plucked my poor Barred Rock's tail feathers, not bare, but a lot.

    All my babies just cower in the corner of the coop till she goes to sleep. Then the get brave enough to eat and play.

    My new hen has not drawn blood and I don't think any of my chicks lives are in danger, but they definitely are not as happy nor am I.

    Here is my question. It has been a week. She does give me beautiful brown eggs - love them. But is it worth it? Will it get better? I am thinking of getting rid of her, but I am hoping it will improve. What do you think?
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Wait another week or two and see if the situation improves. It seems to me that she is just establishing herself at the top of the pecking order. Things should calm down after awhile. If she draws blood, then you can start worrying.
  3. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Awww... Its the big age difference! You may just need to keep her separate a bit longer until the little one's get big enough to hold their own, and have a pecking order already established!

    I was impatient too, and I adopted a rescue bird of laying age... she actually went all mama on my babies and not one peck. How lucky was that! So I got 2 more (total of 5).

    The new one's hate me, and they've been pecking my 12 week old roo until he bleeds around his eye. Finally, mama hen has stepped up... letting them know she's in charge and that the youngest one's are hers as well. kinda strange... now only if she could get them to like me!

    I just think you need a few more weeks before you combine them because of size difference. Besides, as the younger one's get old.... she'll end up at the bottom of the pecking order eventually with a late add... now she thinks she's so big she's in charge!
  4. stefmech

    stefmech In the Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    Unfortunately I really don't have the facilities to keep her separate. She was miserable during quarantine because all I had to keep her in was a large cage. I feel my only decisions is to keep her in the coop or get rid of her. I appreciate every ones advice so far. I would love more opinions.
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I think if you can rearrange your coop/run to make SURE that the little ones have a place to get away from her if she's picking on them, that should help. good luck! [​IMG]
  6. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Create a "creep" area in the coop where the small birds can go through bars or holes in fence wire that the hen cannot. Put food and water for them on that side. I'd give them most of the coop, keep her in a small-ish area with her own food and water. But not so small that the pullets never go in with her because it's all her personal space.

    Things should settle down in a few weeks if they can get away from her.

    Unless whomever sold her to you was getting rid of her because she's a bully.

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