I have a mama hen and her three daughters (all just over a year old). The mama hen never fights with anyone, but the two bigger daughters always pick on the little black one (the rest of them are white). They don't really fight her, but they peck her and don't let her share food. They have a huge coop and run and they free range in my large garden all day. The two bigger daughters have been broody the last month and have barely left their nesting boxes. Their wattles look grey and sickly. So the little black hen has been enjoying just hanging out with her mum all day without being picked on. This morning, the biggest daughter came outside and went to give the little black one a peck and the little black one just went wild, attacking her relentlessly and taking great chunks of feathers out of her chest. She chased her and kept beating her and I had to intervene by placing myself between them and holding out my shoe like I was going to hit her with it (I wouldn't hit her, I was just using it as a threat). Now the white one is traumatised and hiding in a corner and crying. There isn't any blood. I'm wondering if it's possible that the two older daughters have been away for so long (in their boxes being broody) that the little black one thinks they're "new" to the flock. Or maybe the little black one could sense that the bigger one is a sickly and is using this opportunity to change the pecking order. Should I be just letting them work it out themselves? Will they just work it out themselves? It was very distressing to see. The little black one has always been gentle and submissive, but today she is a wild thing. She obviously got up on the wrong side of the perch!