Violent change of pecking order? Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nakedneckmom, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. nakedneckmom

    nakedneckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2012
    We originally had three naked neck hens and when those were about 7 months old, added 3 more naked neck hens and a rooster. Up until this morning, one of the older chickens (Gertie) had never allowed the rooster to mate with her. And the rooster was always submissive to her. This morning I was saying hello to them and I heard a really weird noise from a chicken in the nesting box. I looked and it was Gertie. She was standing up with an egg half out. I had never seen this before and at first I was like omgosh, something is wrong. But she passed the egg right in front of me, and then just stood there. So I went about my business, thinking well that was weird.

    I am watering around the coop and the next thing I know Gertie and the rooster are fighting. Like in the air, fighting. So I went there and broke it up. It basically started right back up again. Then, Henrietta (usually the most submissive of the three older girls) attacks Gertie!! Unheard of! And bites her, and tears a superficial hole in her neck. And then the rooster kind of joins in. I was able to stop it quickly.

    But now, I do not know what to do, is this just a violent change of pecking order, should I let it happen, or should I pull Gertie because she is really nervous and going on perches that are not normal for her, and basically hiding behind me when I go in.

    And I don't really know if the stress of fighting with the rooster is what caused whatever she was doing with the egg passing this morning. This is a favorite chicken, what do I do?!
     
  2. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
    NH
    They may just settle down. I push the trouble maker around a bit, gently of course. Are try bored, in a small coop for the winter? if so give them something to do, a half head of lettue, cabbage to peck at. I give my some hay to kick around in the winter, then throw some feed or seeds in the hay to find. Make sure the weak one eats, they will stop her from geeting to feed and water. I set up two feed areas. If it stays bad, separate the trouble maker for a day or two to shake up the pecking order. If they get real mean use pinless peekers, stops them from being able to peck.
     
  3. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    It may also be that your Roo has just decided that enough is enough and he will be the king of his castle. This, in turn, could cause the others to see an opportunity to up their game as well. I always notice alot of tension when the weather changes....everyone is excited and anxious... Our weather has went from freezing to 57* in a day and my 4 roos in a flock of 50 are getting "cocky" with eachother. Little tifts here and there. The girls are doing the same thing! It's silly sometimes, but it can be scary too.

    Good luck! To me it just sounds like your roo is just going to establish his roll.
     

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