Super Bossy Hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Traysea2013, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Traysea2013

    Traysea2013 New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Brisbane Australia
    I have a 2yr old sussex hen who has recently become extremely bossy. She's second in the pecking order in a flock made up of herself and the boss and two 10 month old hens that were added to the flock in January. Originally she pushed the two young ones around and stopped them from going into the hen house when it rained. .. This moved on to chasing them out of the hen house when they wanted to lay and now she shoves them out of the coop in the middle of the night. (This started when my neighbours purchased two bantams... I wonder if there is a link). I have tried keeping her separate during the day and placing her in a fenced off section of the hen house at night. This doesn't seem to have worked. I am wondering if it is because they could still see her 24/7. I have decided to put her in a location well away from the others day and night so that they don't see her for several days. Will this work?? Help???
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Firstly, [​IMG]

    Your current method of sorting it out might work, and is usually the way you can handle an excessively bossy hen. She'll be at the very bottom of the pecking order when you return her to the flock after several days' absence. This likely means fights, because she'll assume she's still second-in-charge but all the others will have taken a step up the ladder in her absence.

    Worst case scenario is that they kill her, second worst that they reject her permanently. But this doesn't often happen.

    I think she might be thinking of going broody and the arrival of other chickens has triggered her depopulate instinct. She might just want them to vacate the cage so she can set a clutch there. Having her own cage can help that issue, if she's in there for a week and bonds to it so she lays her eggs there instead of in the other cage.

    Best wishes, hope all goes well.
     
  3. Traysea2013

    Traysea2013 New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Brisbane Australia
    What you've said sounds likely. Not long after the chooks next door arrived, she did go broody and I had to cage her on concrete without any nesting material to get comfy on. Within two days, the cluckiness stopped. But shoving the kiddies out of the house intensified. She is such a sweet chicken, if you are a person. She will sit on your lap and go to sleep. I do love her, but she's a demon to the others.In the original flock of three she was the doormat. When the head hen died, she moved up to 2IC and it really went to her head. In some ways, chickens are like people.

    I took her out last night and put her in a box. This morning I put her in a pen around the other side of the house so she can't see the others. She was pretty upset. Hopefully she will settle down for the day... and hopefully I won't need this for too many days.

    Next week I will be going away for a couple of days leaving her in the care of neighbours. She will likely spend more time in the coop rather than the run and I don't want her taking a chunk out of the bottom hen while I am away and unable to intervene. I really am hoping to break this pattern soon.

    Thank you for your advice, Chooks4Life
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Best wishes and hope all goes well. Very beautiful hen in your avatar, by the way!
     
  5. Traysea2013

    Traysea2013 New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Brisbane Australia
    Thanks for that. (The avatar is Myf the Plymouth Rock - supposed to be barred but I think it was botched. The result is very pretty though, as you say.)

    The bossy hen was locked away from the others for 4 nights and 3 days. When I reintroduced her she had a bit of biffo with the head hen who put her back in her place but when she confronted the kiddies, they averted their eyes and slunk away.

    An hour after sunset bossy Chapelle had kicked the kiddies out of the coop just like she did before.

    So, I took another approach: I put another roost in the coop, a little higher, at the end Chapelle tends to favour. Then I hung a screen in across the middle of the coop separating Chapelle's end from the kiddies end.

    So far, so good. Everyone is still ensconced. Hopefully this is the end of it.
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the update and I hope it works. In the past I have had a few bullies who would try to evict every other bird from their chosen perch. More perches and dividers helps. Good idea there. Best wishes.
     

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