What can I do with our aggressive black hens. Any advice?...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SilverMoon, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. SilverMoon

    SilverMoon Out Of The Brooder

    About two or close to three months ago my mother came home with a box and said it was for me to see. Ok so I was still trying to guess what it was before she would come inside and show me. I didnt really expect it to be what they were until she showed me. Most recent we had lost our final little parakeet. It was upsetting but then of course our lives turned around again.

    Well it had turned out that she knew people with chickens. Because of a brush fire in their area most of their chickens didnt make it. I dont think from then on they could raise more. So the lady's husband turned to my mom and said would you like to take them. Surely she had thought to pick out of the four which to take. She said one of them looked at her and her little friends with this hey dont forget me kind of look. So there we were with four new little ones to care for 2 black and 2 light brown. That was like I said three months ago or so.

    They were doing great as a unit and getting along fine. Even sleeping in the same perch areas at night in the cage. Their coop isnt ready yet. We assumed things would go from great to even more wonderful having them. But as of two days ago our Black ones...most particularly the shortest tailfeather one began attacking our Fluffy brown one. I dont know how it all started. I didnt think from one day to the next things would change to what they are. I looked around for info on what to do with aggressive hens. I tell you the second black one started to join in. I think the other brown one...little one of sorts isnt too involved in the pecking order. These two right now I fear if I let them out might actually end up killing the one they hate. What can I do with these aggressive hens aside from giving them away ourselves and getting a male? I read I should let them handle it by themselves but seeing one of them just run in fear makes me want to step in but I have no clue how to. Any advice or tips? We are all fairly knew to hen raising ourselves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  2. Angeljim95

    Angeljim95 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, are they actually hens or still pullets? Could it be sparing they all do that especially in the morning. As for getting a ROO, I have one (only one) who is so mean in the morning to the girls that I'm on the verge of getting rid of him, so I would think twice before doing that. You might have to separate them, are they in any type of run yet. [​IMG]
     
  4. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thought I have is how much space do these birds have to roam around? Sometimes birds can be aggressive because they don't have enough space. [​IMG]

    Is there anyway you can "entertain" them in some way like giving them something to scratch at under hay or finding them something green to eat everyday or ???? Our birds were a little bit aggressive when they were younger and we found if we distracted them in some way the aggression would subside.

    Of course, sometimes birds just won't calm down and they are best for chicken soup ...
     
  5. SilverMoon

    SilverMoon Out Of The Brooder

    Well we are fairly new to raising chickens really. Right now we had them in a pretty good sized cage. But yes they did end up growing quite a bit really. It was amazing to see them fluff up so quickly. We assumed it was the milling food we were feeding them from the local feed store. But I dont think its a size issue persay really. It could be because they got so big. But in the daytime they were mostly kept free range. It was a decently bigger yard than they would have had before. Even the coup my dad is making is way bigger and nicer. I know space isnt an issue since in the daytime they loved just roaming free. Even finding great spots to just lay in the dirt and do what I call bathe in it. I tell you that they were a joy to have and it was even sweet to see them all together all four as a unit. It was inseperable behavior. I want to say something must have triggered this new behavior over the holidays when family had to come over. I cant say for certain that it happened after that visit itself but I dont know what to do. Right now I stepped in this time to follow my mothers method of keeping them seperated for the night. I might have to do it again also in the daytime as well. They havent started laying eggs yet but they do get more red sometimes. I think before my mother brought them home the other owners said they were told one might be male. We werent sure yet on how to tell. They were young looking but grew quite a bit. Our littlest one isnt so much little anymore. We are being told egg production isnt too far away from now either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    [​IMG]

    I would guess that you need more space for them to get away from each other. Large Fowl need about 2 square feet of space each minimum. So, you would need a minimum of a 4 x 4 foot pen -- and probably more.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are they?

    A couple of things spring to mind... one thought was that with their size increasing they might no longer be so happy to spend the night so close together, even though they will happily range together during the day where they have a lot more space.

    Also, if they're still just young, it could be that now they're not chicks anymore the hormones are raging and the fight for alpha chook has begun.
     
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Get them more space X 3!
     
  9. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Before we moved, we disturbed the balance of my two flocks, gave away most of one flock (including the rooster) and reintegrated them all as one unit. That didn't go so well. They all decided to turn on one chicken (who was previously a friend) and really beat the heck out of her. She went from normal and fluffy to bald and bleeding overnight. If I kept her with them for another day, I'm certain they would have killed her.

    So - I separated her out and pardoned one of my meat chickens, who I moved in with the "odd girl." Now neither of them are welcome in the main flock, but at least the odd girl has a friend and someone to keep her warm at night.

    Moral of the story: Even with more room, they simply may never work it out.
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] First I would definately recommend more space for them. Next, without pictures it's hard to tell, but the behavior you describe is quite typical of roosters.
     

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