Sister having problem with Mean Hen!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tulie13, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    My sister has 4 hens that she got from the batch of chicks that I got by mail-order back in March, so they are about 7 months old now. She got 2 EE's, one BO, and one Speckled Sussex (SS) hen. One of the EE's is the lowest on the pecking order, and of course is her daughter's favorite hen. The others don't want to let her eat, but she is SO SWEET and will come running to my niece! [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the SS hen seems to be just plain MEAN. She picks on the EE the most, but she also picks on the other hens. And she bites - when you have food in your hand, she will take a serious nip and sometimes draw blood. Also she will fly/jump up to grab the food and not wait for you to lean over and give it to them. So generally very aggressive.

    My niece loves her chickens, but she's about tired of this one - they are not going to cry if that bird gets eaten by a hawk!

    Is there anything they can do to try to change her behavior? Obviously they can't monitor her 24 hours a day to make sure she doesn't pick on the other hens, but if they "dominate" her and correct her behavior when she is doing it in front of them, does that tend to stick a bit? For example, if she's going after the EE that's on the bottom of the totem pole, and they grab her and pin her down, will she learn NOT to do that?

    Or do they need to just try to find another home for her, or a stewpot? I'd consider taking her, but I just went through enough with my flock and coccidiosis - she'd probably get coccidiosis if I brought her into my flock, and she'd be the newbie, more disruption, etc. If they have no hope of behavior modification, I suppose I'd consider taking her, but MY Speckled Sussex hen is the top dog in my coop, too! Things could get ugly... [​IMG]

    What do you guys think?
  2. Turtle

    Turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    I would rehome the hen or place it on CL for a trade. I just dont put up with mean birds they just make things harder especially for the kids. I dont think you can make them nice or change the behavior.
  3. When one of my BR did it then we separated her into another cage when we saw her doing it for 1 to 3 hours in sight of the other hens. After awhile of doing that then she stopped doing it.
    She is still at the top of the pecking order but does not hurt the hens anymore.

  4. ProductionRed09

    ProductionRed09 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    I have a barred rock pullet who we lovingly named grump Chicken, BC for short.

    I have had to separate her from the rest of the flock in a large cage, she could see the other chicken, just could not interact with her..

    I had to do this a few times and now she no longer butt plucks the other pullets or the roo..

    Thinking about changing her name now that she is in a better mood [​IMG]

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