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urban ameraucana guardian with pecking order question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by miltnerunit, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. miltnerunit

    miltnerunit In the Brooder

    Oct 21, 2008
    hi everyone,

    i need some advice - all their lives, my 2 Ameraucana hens got along like 2 peas in a pod, never straying far from each other, taking dust baths together, foraging in our backyard - it was pretty Utopian. Until Yolko, our 'boss chicken' of the short pecking order, started into her first end-of-season molt a few weeks ago. Since then, she has become a raging you-know-what. I have seen her pluck beak-fulls of feathers out of our poor other hen Sadie's back.
    Sadie, who started to molt a week or so after Yolko, does not know what hit her. Yolko won't let Sadie come near her. She keep food from her. She chases her. Yolko is so preoccupied with harassing Sadie that she seems thinner. I know I may be projecting, but Sadie actually seems, from what I can tell, quite distraught! They used to snuggle up and fall asleep together on the perch, but now they roost in opposite corners. It is a complete and utter falling out.
    Any idea if a hormonal change due to the molt caused this? Or is it most likely a coincidence and is unrelated to molting? They both have quit laying, although Sadie, the second to begin molting, has more recently stopped laying. There was a period where Sadie was laying and Yolko was not. Is Yolko experiencing egg envy? Is that why she is so mean?
    I know I will most likely have to let nature take its course, but if there is anything I can do to help them 'make up' I want to know about it.
    Thanks in advance,

    - k

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC,

    If it were me, I'd probably separate them.

    ... and I'd put your mean hen in something small! Giver her food and water, but let her learn to tough it out for a while. You might only have to separate them for a week. But it sounds like Sadie needs a break.
  3. miltnerunit

    miltnerunit In the Brooder

    Oct 21, 2008
    okay i'll give that a try. she will complain a LOT, because they both are used to having the run of the backyard, but tough! she needs to work out her issues. ever seen a sudden change in behavior like that? it seemed to come on so suddenly. i thought it was hormonal [​IMG]
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I am glad you posted this. I couldn't figure out why my sweet polish girls who were inseparable are now angry at eachother and don't roost together, now at opposite ends of the coop. They are all molting. They run and hide from the rooster, which makes him upset. They jump away from me when they used to be my little shadows.
    Maybe it is hormones. Maybe they're majorly cranky.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree.

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