Two Hens Fighting....HELP!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wislandchickens, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. wislandchickens

    wislandchickens In the Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2013
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    I have 7 chickens total, very mild manner breeds. They free range the yard and surrounding areas most days, and have a beautiful coop, and all organic feed. We love our chickens!
    However the dynamics have just recently changed. Our wonderful Wellsummer Rooster was found dead, and two chicks were born all within one week. The Broody hen is a wonderful mother, she is separated from the rest of the hens on most days, due to our house cat. But will mix sometimes(when cat is locked up) with the other hens and her two chicks. everything has been going smooth for the last 3 weeks, and then all of a sudden, one of the Wellsummer hens started attacking the Broody hen(black Australop) through the wire fencing. We chased the wellummer away, and all seemed calm. Until last night, I heard screaming and the wire fencing that is separating them shaking. All their feathers were up and they were flying together like roosters fighting, their faces bleeding, and this all through the wire fence!
    I'm not sure what to do? It seems to be coming from the wellsummer, she seems to come after the australop? I don't now if this matters, but the chicks are the wellsummers. But the eggs were put under the broody australop.
    Any advice? Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  2. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    The wellsummer is probably attacking because the austrolorp seems like a new hen, the austrolorp is probably fighting back because she's protective of her chicks. You could separate them to where they can still see eachother but not fight and hope things smooth over after a while to where they can be put together, or you could wait til she stops caring for her chicks, that way when you put them together if the wellsummer is aggressive the austrolorp will be more likely to submit and so it won't get too violent
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    Welcome to BYC.
    The roosters death has caused a shake up of the pecking order, and the broody, if she and the chicks were sequestered, was not part of the reordering. So now the welsummer has taken to putting the broody down beneath her. If I'm reading the post right. They may well matched now with the broody amped up in the protective mode. With the wire between them neither could make decisive move to make the other back down. You might have to let the go at it without the wire between them. And separate if neither backs down and try again later. About the cat and the broody with the chicks. My cats are with the chickens a lot. My broody lets them know not to mess with her chicks. By the time they get big enough to wander away from her around seven or so weeks, the cats leave them alone.
     
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  4. wislandchickens

    wislandchickens In the Brooder

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    That makes alot of sense with the shake-up order with the Rooster's death. I guess I never thought about the blk austrolorp being new to the flock after his death, but it makes total sense! I get nervous letting them, "fight it out" I just hate to see the broody fighting, as I feel like she would fight to death for her chicks. But, if I let her wait till her chicks are older, what pecking order will the chicks have?
    Do you think the chicken Welsummer knows they are her chicks????
    About the cat..... Nail biting..... I would be so nervous, plus I feel the broody already has so much on her plate with all the other hens, to add a cat to the mix might send her over the edge!
    Thanks for your help!!!
     
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    Try keeping the cat in the house for a few days to let the flock sort themselves out. I assumed that the cat and the chickens are normally free to mingle. Once that is settled then leave the cat out to learn the lesson to leave the chicks alone. The broody will give good lessons. Watch yourself and see, it is a great lesson for all. My cats are experienced hunters. Last fall my broody had two cats curious at the same time, she got the chicks back under a bush and made the cats back down. As long as she can stay between the cat and chicks and the chicks don't do something dumb it will work out. With her second brood and with no new cats around, they showed no more interest in the chick then they would with any other chicken. I know it can be a worry, but I felt that with my cats and chickens for the longer peace the lesson had to be learned, even if a cat got beat up.
     
  6. ozarslan

    ozarslan Songster

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    Did you get a new cock?
    I think, that's the problem. If you get a rooster, it can be order to maintain.
     
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  7. wislandchickens

    wislandchickens In the Brooder

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    No we haven't. I'm not sure that we will, at least for awhile. We had a beautiful Welsummer, he was such a good boy. He wasn't a friendly bird, but he had a lot of respect for me, and children. That seems hard to find in Roo's...... His death was a complete shock, 11/2 years old and healthy on minute, then boom, dead the next, crazy!!!
    That makes sense though. Thanks!
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    You know the odds are one of the chicks may be a cockerel, Of course with me if I really wanted one to be, they both would turn out pullets.
     
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  9. wislandchickens

    wislandchickens In the Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2013
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    Well if what i've read is correct. I have two pullets.
    I'm not holding my breath though.[​IMG]
     
  10. wislandchickens

    wislandchickens In the Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2013
    Washington State
    Just wanted to let everyone know; last night I took your advice and let the two have it out!
    I stood there with the hose, just in case. They fought for about 1 minitue, and that was it. All done. It seems that having the fence in-between them caused more tension.
    I'm just glad that's over! Thanks for all your help!!
     

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