top hen causing chaos

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bookworm chick, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    First off, no blood has been shed. I had three broodies raising chicks. The #1 broody gradually adopted the #2 broody's offspring over a period of a couple of months. The third broody (lowest in pecking order) had her chicks three weeks behind the first two. I also have a separate pullet and cockerel (I think). They are all in the same coop and run together. They seem to have formed three separate "flocks". The #1 hen has the largest "flock" consisting of her offspring and #2's offspring. The second flock is the broody with the youngest offspring. The two others (pullet and cockerel) hang together. The #2 broody (now back to laying) floats between all three, getting along. The real problem seems to be the #1 broody who goes out of her way to chase and peck all of the others except those that she considers her "flock". I previously had a rooster but now any longer. Does she think she is now taking the rooster's role of protector? Oh, also all the youngsters seem to have worked out their own pecking order.
    I have decided to rehome the broody/hens along with two young cockerels. I don't have the facility to separate the troublemakers. I know that if I allowed them to free range I probably wouldn't have this problem but that's out of the question. We have two many predators out and about.
     

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