Sweet Cochin hen trying to take over the whole coop!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CHICKEN BUFF, Sep 9, 2016.


    CHICKEN BUFF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2015
    I have a mixed flock of 30 birds that includes some large-sized Cochins. Everyone has gotten along famously since I first introduced 18 2016 pullets to my dozen 2015 hens early in the spring. I have a very good-tempered Alpha rooster, and a gentle Cochin rooster who's happy to be Beta. No one is being picked on, no fights, all has been peaceful.

    Until now.... (cue the dramatic music: dum, dum, DUM)

    My beautiful blue Cochin ("Sooty") is 33 weeks old, one of the 2016 crew. This year's Cochins began laying a few weeks later than their peers, and the eggs are still quite small for such BIG birds.

    Sooty will not lay in a nest box, even though the boxes are large enough. She scrapes out a cavity in the shavings in the corner of the coop, lays her little egg, then sits on it for hours at a time. I usually move her aside and take the egg (plus any other eggs that have been laid by other hens -- several seem to like Sooty's spot, including one other Cochin).

    Although she now growls at me, and seems ready to tear my arm off, I don't think Sooty is properly broody -- the few times I've let her keep egg(s), she eventually wanders away and does not return until the next day. She roosts up with the rest of the chickens.

    A couple weeks ago, we started having some horrendous battles in the coop. Even our roosters RUN to check out who's being killed! When I get there, Sooty is alone, standing in the middle of the coop. I'm finding broken eggs throughout the coop, even in the nest boxes (but never Sooty's nest). After more than a week of daily battles in the coop, I decided it was time for "chicken jail". We have a second coop that my husband made for future broody hens, and I put Sooty in for a few days (I gave her the eggs from her nest too, but she just kicked them all over). During those days we had NO fights in the main coop, NO broken eggs. I let her out yesterday after she laid her morning egg. She assimilated into the flock like she'd never left (PS - she gets along fine with everybody when she's outside the coop)

    Early this morning we had another huge fight, and once again, I found Sooty alone in the coop surrounded by nest boxes with broken eggs (yolk still dripping from the walls). Yet once again, her scraped out spot with its single egg is untouched.

    1. Should I get Sooty a lawyer? Am I wrong in thinking she's the guilty party?

    2. Am I mistaken in thinking she's too young to be genuinely broody?

    3. I've now put her back in "chicken jail". Should I leave her there longer this time?

    4. I thought the Cochins were the sweetest, gentlest of birds --- does Sooty's dramatic change in temperament mean she's ready for motherhood, or did I manage to get the one Cochin in the whole wide world who's mean? Out of 30 hens, NOBODY has ever behaved like this.

    5. Help!


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