Two sister hens fighting!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lila_Brambleburr, May 13, 2009.

  1. Lila_Brambleburr

    Lila_Brambleburr Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Apr 17, 2009
    Teafield Rd.
    We just introduced 4 new hens to our small flock of a rooster and 3 hens. The dynamic between the older hens and the new hens has been normal - a bit of pecking to establish dominance, but nothing extreme.

    The odd thing is that our 2 new Americanas, sisters who were raised together and caged together, started seriously fighting once they were loosed into the group. Our chicken lady (a friend who helps us with our chickens, as I am fairly new) said to let them fight it out. One would win, and the other would slip into her place. We did this, but then the winner wouldn't allow the loser to go into the pen or henhouse (they are free-range). Poor little miss loser ended up huddled on a shelf in a cabinet on the porch of our shed. They fought until there was blood on their crests.

    I have the winner in a cage in the house, hoping that the loser will get used to the flock and not be so beaten down by her sister. Every time I allow them to be together, they fight to the blood. I am seriously considering clipping their beaks, (not debeaking).

    Any insight into what might be going on? I am assuming it might be about the rooster. He gets upset by the fighting and tries to stop them. He is very protective of his girlies, even intentionally giving them his treats instead of eating them himself. I am just wondering if I am missing something. Has anyone else experienced this, with siblings?
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    First of all the one that is injured needs to be seperated until healed. Blood causes the other chickens to pick on her too. It really sounds like you need to rehome the one hen that will not leave her alone. That sometimes happens.....

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Lila_Brambleburr

    Lila_Brambleburr Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Apr 17, 2009
    Teafield Rd.
    Thanks for replying. I separated them until they were healed, and then brought them back together and kept an eye on them. The aggressive one started in on the weaker one, and cornered her and wouldn't leave her alone,.It bothered me so much I went into the pen and smacked her across her feathered bottom, sending her scooting away. She came back several times, and each time I swatted her behind until she gave up.

    To my surprise, that seemed to have solved the problem. That was several days ago and there is still the normal mild position pecking, but the bullying has stopped. Oddly enough, the rooster who is fiercely protective of his girlies and has pecked me hard for just touching them, sat back and calmly allowed me to "spank" the errant hen. He had tried to separate them when they were fighting, but to no avail. I think he knew I was trying to stop the bullying.

    So now, peace is restored, and the "spanked" chicken is fine with her sister and with me. Cool. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by