What to do with aggressive hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arrowti, May 22, 2016.

  1. arrowti

    arrowti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2014
    We got 10 rhode island red hens from a feed store early last summer, and they are extremely vicious with the other chickens and aggressive with our ducks. Our ducks and chickens have lived together for 2 years without any fighting (separate houses, same enclosure), but now the rhode islands are just attacking everyone they can see, and jumping on the ducks when they're sleeping to claw at them and bite them. They have caused injuries in both chickens and ducks. They are cowards though and never attack the duck drake and never attack the duck hens if the drake is nearby, because he HAS and WILL kick their butts.

    Other than the drake, only our barred rocks and one buckeye has stood their ground against these vicious hens, and so they do not get attacked either. The roosters do nothing to stop them - we used to have a rooster who would get between two fighting hens, but we gave him away to another farm since we had too many roosters. These hens will be a year old in June. Is there anything we can do to improve their behaviour? Will separating them for some time be effective? Maybe they will eventually calm down?

    Or should I just stick them in a soup pot. I don't like these hens at all, but I don't want to cull birds unless there's no other option. Still, their behaviour is unacceptable and causing injury to birds who are just sleeping or dust bathing is a little absurd.

    I think I answered my own question... but maybe someone out here has had luck taming aggressive hens.
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    That's why I no longer have sex-links or any production reds (which is what feed store RIRs are). Many of the hens are nasty feather pickers in the flock. They might work as a separate flock, or for someone else as a separate flock, but won't stop beating up your other birds. The 'peepers' that you can order from catalogs, will help if you plan to keep the group together, but I would make other plans. If your coop and run is crowded, that needs to be fixed. And they will make delicious crock pot meals! Mary
  3. Kaylin

    Kaylin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2016
    Big bend area Florida
    Maybe you would only need to cull a few. I'd pick the most aggressive and work my way down. It might just be a couple bully hens driving all the attacking.
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    You did just answer your own question.
    Another vote for no red chickens in a mixed flock.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016

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