strange bedtime behavior of one hen

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
Hermosa, South Dakota
One of my Rhode Island Reds started laying eggs a week ago and since then her personality/temperment has changed. She has been more domineering and very aggressively hen pecking the others. During the day, she usually acts normal and stays with the flock. However, her most unusual behavior happens when all the hens are wandering towards the coop for the night (They free range during the day). She is usually the first one in the coop. She gets up on the top roosting bar and begins making a strange wailing sound and won't let any of the hens get on the roosting bar she is sitting on and sometimes even chases them out of the coop. This is upseting the other girls and they they delay their entrance into the coop and become agitated as they start entering the coop picking on each other. The last couple of nights I have had to go into the coop trying to keep Lucy, (The RIR who is acting strange) at the end of the roosting bar so the others can come in without issue, but she still makes that strange wailing sound. Any ideas what is going on with here and any recommendations anyone can offer? I don't want to interfere with the pecking order, but her strange behavior is affecting the other birds.
Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.
I have a RIR named Lucy and another one named Ethel! In my opinion your Lucy is being bossy. Hormones? I have another chicken who was keeping the new younger peeps off the roost as well. I decided to intervene. When the young chickens try to climb up, if she goes after them I take her off the roost and put her on the floor. Then she has to climb up the ramp again. I have two ramps so the new peeps use the other one or they fly. My chicken stopped being a brat after I did this a few nights in a row. Maybe take Lucy all the way outside so all the other chickens can come in first.

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