Submissive hen? Squatting, Pecked

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AllChookUp, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I have about a dozen hens, mix of BOs and GLWs (all about 9 months old). I recent relocated a rooster out of my coop due to his aggressive behavior.

    Before I made the coop roosterless, he was starting to tear up some of the hens' tailfeathers, as rooster can do with their spurs.

    It's been a couple months now, and most of the hens' tailfeathers have grown back.

    I've noticed one hen, though, whose tailfeathers not only have not grown back, even more of them seem to be gone. I'm guessing she is being pecked by at least one of the others.

    Another thing I've noticed is that when I surprise her or walk up behind her suddlenly, she squats. Is this a sign that she is submissive and "used" to being pecked?

    I'm also guessing I'll need to make a temporary saddle. Not sure how to do that, but I've heard they can be made from duct tape. I'll check around on the site, but if anyone has a special method that works best, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

  2. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    she squats because she is submitting to you - she thinks you're a handsome and dominant rooster and is welcoming a little lovin' [​IMG] She's just confused is all. As for being pecked, it sounds like she's at the bottom of the pecking order... and the other hens aren't treating her well. I don't have advice for that, but I'm sure others do!
  3. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Quote:If she thinks I'm handsome, then she IS confused! And she needs her eyes examined.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  4. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Songster

    Jun 30, 2008
    I think the "sqatting" kind of sounds like an egg dance. Are they laying yet?
  5. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Yes, they've been laying steadily since November. The thing is, she squats no matter when I walk up to her, whether she's laid already for the day, or not.
  6. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Mine do too, I swear all I have to do is look at them and they all squat [​IMG]
  7. Dinah

    Dinah Hatching

    May 19, 2007
    Mount Vernon, WA
    When I reach out to give them a scritch or a pat; or to snag them up for a hug and check under their wings etc, I get the squat. Raised from chicks. No rooster. The old submissive squat. Like my dog rolls over and shows his belly, or my cats roll over and show their belly then a heart beat later absolutely whale on my hand!
  8. mylulusmom

    mylulusmom In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2008
    long island Ny
    I wish mine would squat! They run for cover, or keep their distance. Maybe since they went right into the coop/run when they were little. We didn't handle them alot once they went outside. They were July 1 babies. One modification I could use is a opening in the fence around their run. It kills me not to be able to reach in and "say HI" more often. [​IMG]
    I've begun to let them free range outside the run in the late afternoon, early evening. That way they don't roam too far from the yard! Then they return for bedtime, better than children do. [​IMG]

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